Gnome hot sauce is about flavor first flavor san luis obispo new times san luis obispo apple cider vinegar nutritional information

• SMOKIN’ no, the gnomes didn’t really make it. Actually, gnome sauce creator jane hian can take credit for crafting the first smoked hot sauce on the central coast.

This is what san miguel local jane hian found after messing with her own smoker on an average taco night. Although she might claim that her new, fiery condiment—gnome sauce—is made by mischievous garden creatures—let me tell you the truth.

Hian is (like me) one of those strange people who has a specific hot sauce for every kind of food and feeling: one for eggs, one for soup, one for salad greens—the list goes on forever.

"I’m not a hot sauce head; I’m not interested in burning my face off," she said. "It’s not about really vinegary for me, either. I just really love flavor."

• HOT STUFF gnome sauce isn’t your average vinegary, fiery drizzle.


Packed with smoked peppers—and farm fresh ingredients like carrot and beet—this addictive small batch, locally produced condiment is all about maximum flavor payoff.Cider vinegar

"I thought, ‘I’ll make a little hot sauce for these tacos.’ the jalapeños came out all black and beautiful. It was a super basic sauce. I don’t really even really remember what I put in there," hain said. "It was a delicious flavor, but I knew it needed more."

Hian was pretty much obsessed with creating the perfect smoky hot sauce made to be shaken on everything. Certain elements became clear to her: the tang of apple cider vinegar added oomph. The fresh acid of lime juice couldn’t be denied. The bite of pasilla peppers inspired her tastebuds to do backflips. She thought back to her fave—marie sharp’s.

"I realized the one thing I loved about that first hot sauce—and the one common thread on every hot sauce I ate—was carrots. This is what led to me making a smoked root vegetable hot sauce," she said.

The ingredients listed on her debut bottle include smoked jalapeño and anaheim peppers, dried ancho chilies, lime juice, cilantro, salt, onion, garlic, and tomato, as well as carrots and beets, which add a unique and earthy depth of flavor.Apple cider vinegar

The sauce is thick and viscous, dribbling out of the bottle in satisfying blobs (I like a dab on fried eggs, chicken tacos, charred potatoes, and even buttered green beans).

The true-to-life smoke flavor shows no trace of weird chemical "liquid smoke" attributes, like you might find in some cheap barbecue sauces. It’s not super spicy, but it’s got kick to spare.

"At first it wasn’t smoky enough, so we actually just threw all the vegetables in the smoker. We made it for friends and everyone was loving it," she said. "I started the business about seven months ago and it’s been incredible. This community has been so, so supportive."

You can find gnome sauce mostly north of the grade, including wineries, markets, cheese shops, and boutiques (check her website for all the locales). I suspect the reddish-brown condiment will sneak its way south in 2018. Note: true heat seekers will be glad to know that hian is also working on what she calls a "true, burn-your-face-off" flavor, out next month.Apple cider vinegar that said, it will never top the first. The original.

Yes, there have been mishaps, where hot pepper sauce has found its way onto skin and eyes: yes, hian’s husband has revolted against giving away the free labor necessary to fill each glass bottle by hand.

Yes, it’s difficult to source all of the ingredients locally and seek out the freshest, most choice peppers, cilantro, et al. But—if you ask a true lover of hot sauce like hian—it’s really no big deal.