With eleven medals, New Zealand has really stood out from the crowd at the American-based World Hot Sauce Awards, which this year saw more than 1,000 products being entered by 213 companies from 16 different countries.
Six NZ brands were particularly ‘hot’.
The title of World Champion in the Extra Hot category went to Fire Dragon Chillies for their Deadly Chilli Sauce. Based in Northland, the brand was launched in 2008 and soon built a reputation for growing its own chillies organically, irrigating them with mineral water coming straight from a natural spring.
Another renowned company, Huffman’s Sauce, swept up two silver medals for its Thai Sweet Chilli Aromatic Sauce and Spiced Bloody Mary Tomato Ketchup, along with a silver and a bronze for its website and packaging. Nick Huffman’s sauces are hand-crafted to work as seasonings and bring balance and harmony to dishes.
A silver and a bronze in the BBQ Sauce division went to Baxter’s Original for its Spicy Bourbon BBQ and Chipotle BBQ Sauce. Wellington-based, the family-run company has been working since 2013 on perfecting their recipes of hypoallergenic sauces, using healthy ingredients and hand-crafting every portion.
The Chipotle Sauce category saw The Lucky Taco taking home a silver medal with its Chipotle Hot Sauce. The successful food truck has gone a long way since it was launched in 2013 as the spicy brainchild of Sarah and Otis Frizzell, who have now taken their Mexican sauces, rubs and tacos on the road to international recognition.
Culley’s won silver in the Wings Sauce division for its Buffalo Wing Sauce. Crafting its way as a household brand around the globe, the company was named after owner and founder Chris Cullen, who decided to turn his passion into a business after a long career as a chef.
Two bronze medals were also awarded to Wild West Worcester, namely in the Hot Sauce category for its Sweet Black Sauce, and in the marketing division for its Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce.