This is another California-ism, because I didn’t grow up eating spicy: the Old El Paso taco seasoning packet was about as funky as it ever got around my house. I was indoctrinated by my husband, who grew up in a town where there are three kinds of hot sauce on every table (a red one, a green one, and a Mexican one). I’ve developed a heat tolerance probably average for southern and western parts of the country, but for a Mainer I’m a fire-breathing dragon.
Lately I’ve been craving food so spicy it will singe my nose hairs. This is where Tiger Teeth Pepper comes in. The only ingredients are habanero peppers, vinegar, and salt, all smashed up together. This stuff is brutal, but in moderation it improves the taste of almost everything. We add it to salsa, soup, hummus, and peanut sauce. It’s terrific on scrambled tofu and homefries. Try it on chunks of mango-- whoo! That will wake you up. Try it on white bread with margarine, a nutritionally worthless comfort food of them there Okies.
Tiger Teeth is made in Biddeford and right now it’s only sold in southern Maine (venues listed on their website). When I was in the Dorch for Thanksgiving I bought some at The Meat House in Scarborough, which made me feel dirty. I will lobby the tiger to migrate north.