In the upcoming months I will tell you about my Canadian passion for hot peppers, but first, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Martin Lamoureux and I live in a small town in the suburbs of Montreal. I became interested in chilli peppers in my teenage years at a time when fresh peppers were rare here in Canada. As the years progressed, I discovered some excellent spicy products, especially hot sauce. That world fascinated me, and a couple years later I found a guy who had published a review about a hot sauce and it really captivated me. This reviewer many of you know; he is Mr. Bill Moore. After watching several videos of Bill, I said to myself that here in Quebec we have no one that does this type of thing for the Canadian Chilehead. I decided to take it upon myself to create such a reviewer and I began to offer my own review with sauces from here. The problem for me was that most stores only carried the likes of Tabasco and Frank’s Red Hot, and I wanted the same sauces that Bill Moore was reviewing.
One day I was discussing hot sauce on social networks with a nice lady, Carline Phanor, who offered me my chance by sending me one of her sauces from her company, Men Pa’w Gourmet. That was began the launch of my Facebook page that I decided to call “Habanero Montreal”. I am one of the few reviewers to offer reviews written both in French and English. Since 2013, I do my best to inform and educate the people of Canada on hot sauces from the United States and other countries I am lucky enough to receive products from. For me to be a great sauce, the flavor is more important than the degree of heat. Don’t get me wrong, I like a spicy sauce, but if it gets too hot, then the flavor of the other ingredients might be lost.
In the last couple of years, there has been a craze here for all spicy products, but also fresh peppers. Many companies have expanded into Quebec and other parts of Canada. I’ll try to help you discover them in the coming months. Today, it is quite easy to get hot sauces in Canada, such as Hellfire Hot Sauces, Sweet Heat Gourmet and Men Pa’w Gourmet through passionate dealers who agreed to open their doors to a wide variety of displays. We also have a legend in the world of chileheads and his name is Claude Dubé. Claude has made reviews for several years on YouTube with an intent to make us know more various products. Claude’s tolerance is legendary here, and he has won all fiery type of competitions in the last few years. He is also a great Hellfire sauce collector. His collection is truly impressive to see.
Here in Quebec growing or obtaining fresh super hot peppers is hard, as the cultivation period is quite short and the temperature is not warm enough. There are many like David Croteau, a producer that grows several varieties of chillies and lets us enjoy them. We also have some Canadian spicy product websites to order from because import fees between Canada and the United States are ridiculously high. It is not the fault of the producers, it is just the way it is with parcel service these days. Three websites I will mention are Saucespiquantes.ca, Chilly Chiles which claims to have the largest selection of hot sauces in Canada and Chili Heat. I know there are many others in Canada, but I do not know them all. As other stores or websites are discovered here in Canada with excellent selections of sauces, I will be sure to let you know.
Almost everything has been said about my part of the Canada, and I will surely talk in more detail in the upcoming months. I will present several sauces producers like Peppermaster that are in my opinion, the pioneers in the world of heavy sauces in Quebec. I hope I have piqued your interest, and please do not hesitate to come and meet me on my Facebook page Habanero Montreal. I am always willing to talk to people whether it be in French or English. The chilehead community is incredible, whether it is in Canada, USA or the rest of the world.
Thank you for reading my first column, and have a hot day.