Friends doing it with Local & Farm Fresh Food

Sweet Heat Gourmet
By
Shellie Mierwald

Two Hot Sauce Companies with a Passion for Local up for National Prestigious Award

Recently the finalists were announced for the 2016 Good Food Awards. The Good Food Awards is a prestigious award in the food community that honors local makers, farmers, artisan food producers, etc. that are committed to using as much local product as possible, and are committed to using a sustainable food source to produce their unique products. They received 1,937 entries for various categories this year, and the winners will be announced Friday, January 15, 2016, at a gala Awards Ceremony at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco.

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Supporting with Local & Farm Fresh Food

Sweet Heat Gourmet

Getting to Know Jim Weaver from Meadow View Farms

Every September, we at Sweet Heat Gourmet and approximately 50+ chile companies, make the annual pilgrimage to the Bowers Chile Pepper Festival. The festival celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and one of the main attractions was the incredibly cheap “pick your own peppers” right down the road at Meadow View Farms, owned by Jim Weaver and his family.

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We’ve been buying super hots from Jim since we started our company about 3 ½ years ago. If you haven’t been to his farm in person, it truly is chilehead nirvana. There are acres and acres of hot peppers, 200+ varieties according to Jim, with 50 of those super hots. I took this opportunity to ask Jim a few questions about his farm and his family, and how they got interested in growing super hot peppers.

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Spicy Inspiration with Local & Farm Fresh Food

by

Shellie Mierwald

Sweet Heat Gourmet

Early Fall in Central Pennsylvania is prime farmers’ market season, as I’m sure it is in many places around the United States. My husband and I just harvested some of our first yellow bhut jolokias, some beautiful peach habaneros, and our moruga scorpion peppers are coming along nicely. Knowing that this is prime local food season, I took a rare day off from my business at our local farmers’ market, and my husband Dave and daughter Zoe ran the booth for me. I went on a spontaneous road trip to Eastern PA with my good friend Susan to explore and see what local goodies we could find.

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We ended up at the oldest continuously run farmers’ market in the United States, the Lancaster Central Market in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This is a year round indoor market that has been in operation for over 275 years. Inside the beautiful red brick building is a teaming, bustling market with 70 vendors where you can find culinary delights ranging from foods from Ethiopia, Knackwurst from a German stand, fair trade coffee, Middle Eastern delights, Amish delicacies as well as local meats, veggies, and even fresh seafood.

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Sweet & Savory with Local & Farm Fresh Food

by

Shellie Mierwald

Sweet Heat Gourmet

Last Fall one of my producers, Way Fruit Farm, managed to talk me into a bushel of pears instead of my regular half bushel. At first I was thinking, fabulous and amazing product but what the heck am I going to do with all these pears? I immediately thought of trying them out in a pear hot sauce, and knew that limes and black pepper paired well together. After thinking of additional complimentary ingredients, our Key Lime Hot Sauce was born. It was definitely different being that it was light in heat and color, and I loved it. My husband Dave and I were unsure of the new hot sauce, we wondered how our customers would use such a unique sauce. We debuted it at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo, and it was our fastest selling sauce. We asked customers to let us know how they were using the hot sauce, and the responses weren’t what we were expecting. People were taking the sauce and using it on ice cream, cheesecake, seafood, pork, chicken, mojitos, margaritas….it fascinated me. I began to notice on the chile forums an upswing in the use of spicy products on sweet foods, not just on savory foods.

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Blazin’ a Trail with Local & Farm Fresh Food

by Shellie Mierwald

Greetings fellow Chileheads! My name is Shellie Mierwald and I own Sweet Heat Gourmet. I’m very passionate about what I do with the local foods movement. Our award winning BBQ and hot sauces are made with as much farm fresh products as possible. Please feel free to contact me at shgourmet@gmail.com, I’m happy to answer your questions! For Chilehead Monthly, I’ll be chatting about farm to table food and how spicy things should make your food taste better!

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