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A Trial by Fire of Made-in-OK Salsas



Homemade Salsas Bulging With Garden-Fresh Flavors Are Fabulous. We Decided To Honor July’s Bounty With Another Elemental Force The Month Officially Brings – Heat. In This Case, The Culinary Kind.

Feel Free To Brashly Double-Dip From The Checkerboard Spread Of Oklahoma-Made Salsas Out There: Bowlfuls Of Retail Selections Abound Across The State.

Curiously, The Relative Oodles Of Spicy Okie Salsas Aren’t Matched By Their More Dangerous Cousins, Hot Sauces. Our Search Only Found Two Hot Sauce Sources: Pepper Creek Farms In Lawton And A “Hot Flavor Sauce” By The Metro’s Suan’s Foods.



Keeping it simple, we found one local outlet – Forward Foods of Norman and OKC – that carries three local brands. The tomato-based dips in Mason-style jars included ingredients such as cilantro, lime juice, “special spices” and one with mysterious comino. (We looked it up. It’s Spanish for cumin.)
One thing we learned from labels: “Hot” is relative. All three used the word, except for one “extra hot,” which wasn’t actually the hottest.

No. 1 El Rancho Extra Hot Salsa.  This metro-made delight was second hottest, but flavor mostest. Its essence was even, with onion and garlic notes. Texture was on the pureed side, with a nice hint of chili-powder-like savoriness.

No. 2 A&J Hot Salsa, from Ninnekah. It tied with No. 1 for its medium chunkiness, but ay ay ay – muy caliente. Habanero and ghost peppers imparted their spirits for that. We broke the glass on our emergency kit of milk and bread to quench the fire. With all that heat, it was hard to pick out the strongest flavors. The best we could manage was, “It tastes red!”

No. 3 Cocina San Pasqual Home-Style Hot Salsa, from Perkins. A great find for those who love tomato flavors. Relatively mild, it’s a safer pick for the less-masochistic eater. Keep your taste buds on alert for roasted green chilies and garlic.


Plenty of pepper pickers appropriate Oklahoma themes: OU and OSU have labeled hot sauces. There’s an Oklahoma Route 66 Hot Sauce and an Oklahoma Extreme Tornado Hot Sauce. Unfortunately, they’re all concocted out of state.

With only two Okie hot sauces available, we bent the eligibility rules to get a third – the brilliantly conceived Flaming Lips Hot Sauce with label artwork by singer Wayne Coyne and Lips artist/director George Salisbury. But the stuff is made by Big Daddy’s in Houston, Texas. Houston, Texas? Git a rope.

We narrowed down Pepper Creek Farms’ three flame throwers to what we considered the best, then it was on with thermal testing.

No. 1 Flaming Lips Hot Sauce. You know how some people look for a hot sauce with that just-right combination of flavors and spiciness? This is one of them. Check out the deliberately kooky ingredients designed to capture the band’s vibe: pineapple, orange juice, apple cider, St. Arnold Lawnmower Beer and habanero peppers. It screams for anything with fish or chicken.

No. 2 Pepper Creek Farms Serrano Hot Sauce. Takes off with a sweet apple-cider zip, then zings with serrano sizzle. It earns its billing as Pepper Creek’s hottest. Perfect for a few drops of tanginess or a dash in a sauce.

No. 3 Suan’s Scotch Bonnet Flavor Sauce. The battle for second and third was nearly a tie. All three hot sauces were so good that one taster converted from a hot-sauce agnostic to a come-to-Jesus believer. Suan’s combines sultry heat, scotch-bonnet jelly sweetness and a touch of sweet onion. Great as a sauce foundation or direct to your favorite eats.

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September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

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This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
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Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

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Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

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