The JaJa's Journey
What is the key to creating great hot sauce? Good chiles, garlic, aromatics, and three generations of spicy ladies
While chili pepper-based sauces have transformed cuisines worldwide, successive waves of immigrants from all corners of the globe have turned up the heat on the American palette with their native spicy sauces.
Today, the growing appeal of pepper sauce has influenced everything from salsa to barbecue, to chocolates and cocktails, inspiring passionate romances and changing people's lives along the way.
“I never saw the recipe written down anywhere. I can just recall the combination of garlic, chile and vinegar from watching and helping my mother make it in her kitchen when I was just a little girl.”
But this is not a story about hot sauce. For me, the term “hot sauce” suggests heat over flavor. On the contrary, a pepper sauce brings a bright spark to even the simplest of dishes, without overpowering them. The recipe should be fresh and fruity, almost as if it had just emerged from a home kitchen. That is what JaJa’s Pepper Sauce is all about.
The JaJa’s Pepper Sauce story is a fascinating detour from a recipe that originated in a Martinique kitchen, trekked to Trinidad and settled in New York. The sauce incorporates ingredients such as local vegetables, peppers and herbs unique to each destination.
Thick enough to warrant a jar, JaJa’s Pepper Sauce has a short, sharp burn that can be spread on a hot dog or mixed in with mayo as a spicy dip for fries.
All Caribbean kitchens have their own version of a pepper sauce and a concoction of spices, chiles and vinegar are commonly seen on restaurants and kitchen tables all over the Caribbean.
Inspired by memories of my grandmother and mother as well my own experiences on the islands, I refined the recipe for JaJa’s Pepper Sauce to embrace the islands’ rich and eclectic cultural heritage and its three generations in the making. Now, it is all-natural, hot sauce with a tangy, bright flavor blended with an approachable spice level and clean pepper tang.
Embracing the culinary melting pot of Trinidad, the sauce bears a unique blend of chiles and spices as well as the whims of my grandmother and mother coupled with African, Indian, Chinese and British culinary influences.
I have concocted a sauce that is well-balanced, flavorful and gluten free. JaJa’s Pepper Sauce is the result of combining of farm fresh produce, multi-dimensional spices and small-batch cooking that can be paired with everything from salads to steak.
As home cooks across the globe use sauces to add flavor and richness to their food, you too can explore a world of spices and island-hop without having to leave the comfort of your kitchen with JaJa’s Pepper Sauce.
“I don't actually like to cook, and I've figured out a way to make very tasty meals, very quickly. My secret is to use JaJa's Pepper Sauce when I’m batch cooking. I pair it with everything from salads to steak, including scramble eggs.”