NJ Taco Festival
Written By Heath “the Taco Man” McDowell
Welcome back to the Chilehead Monthly column from Tacoseveryday.com. Thank you to those who read last month’s debut, and welcome to the new readers. We have a great section this month with a few known Chileheads being the center of attention.
Okay, let’s get this started. This month we will be talking about the NJ Taco Festival. How does this relate the Chilehead community? Johnny McLaughlin and Steve Seabury are the heads of this amazing event. Johnny is the owner and main man running Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauce Company, and is also a big part of Tacos Everyday. Steve is the head honcho at High River Sauces and the creator and promoter of the NYC and CA Hot Sauce Expos! With that being, said, this event does not lack Chilehead support. We took a look at some of the vendors, and were happy with what we saw. Some great sauce companies are supporting this which includes Jersey Barnfire hot sauce, Voodoo Chile and Salsa, Moe Mountain Hot Sauce, as well as Hoboken Eddie’s.
The first event lined up for the NJ taco fest is an amateur salsa making contest. As a major factor in drawing me back to a taco truck, restaurant, or a sauce maker. Salsa definitely has an important role in the taco and Chilehead world. Whether it be spicy, medium, or mild, a good salsa really brings out the flavors in the meal and is traditionally served with tacos. An awesome thing about this event is there is also a 2nd and 3rd place award. I’m really excited to see which heat level will win 1st place. I prefer a bold in your face thick salsa with my tacos. Send us what you think is the greatest salsa on earth to the email at the bottom of this column. This amateur salsa contest is presented by Tito’s Burritos & Wings.
Another great Chilehead event lined up for the festival this year is the “Pepper Eating Contest”. It will be a variety of chile peppers in a high intensity speed consumption round. Sounds to me like milk will be a must for this event. Spicy tacos are one of my favorites and that is exactly how I prefer them to be when they are consumed. I mean, who doesn’t like spicy tacos? Roasted, diced, or grilled peppers are available 90% of the time wherever you decide to eat tacos. Roasted jalapenos are a great side to munch on while eating as well. They are the most commonly served pepper with the meals I have come across.
But let’s not leave out the Championship Taco Eating Contest! This event will be the second to last and followed by the Taco Awards Ceremony. The contestants for NJ Taco Eating Championship have been the winners of Preliminary Taco Eating Contest rounds at various Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in NJ. Lots of tacos were consumed. I’m not going to lie, it was awesome. A world record at the San Jose Taco festival was set at 108 tacos in 8 minutes. I feel full just thinking about it. That’s a LOT of tacos. The bar is set high for the world record, but you know what they say, ”records are meant to be broken”. Unless of course they are vinyl. Then please don’t break them…
With all of the events lined up for this festival, I have a good feeling this will be one for the record books. Some other events that will be held include, Amateur Guacamole contest, Best Chihuahua costume, live Lucha wrestling, and the Margarita Mix Down.
The NJ Taco festival will be at the Sussex fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ on September 12th 2015, from 10am to 8pm. Directions can be found at www.njtacofestival.com
Here is what our good friend Allen Fry has to say about the festival. “I think bringing together both taco and heat seekers is a win win situation. Locally the taco scene is ever growing. With the introduction of many new and artisan hot sauces it makes tacos even more fun. Unlike craft beers, tacos are a great item that all family members can enjoy. An all ages fun fest when it comes to tacos. Two Frys is very excited to have both a foodie and Chilehead event finally combined. Got Tacos?” – Allen Fry www.twofrys.com
Email us anytime with taco, salsa, hot sauce, ideas, and spices you think we should know about at- firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember, its always a good day for a taco.
Heath “The Taco Man” McDowell