Monday, April 13, 2009

Always Read the Label!

As you might imagine, our refrigerator at home always has lots of open bottles of hot sauce, bbq sauce, and a variety of other condiments, thanks to our constant research into potential new products for the Carolina Sauce Company, and our love for zesty eating. On any given day you can find everything from old-fashioned maple butter, to mild and hot chow chow relish, gourmet crab cake sauce to wickedly fiery ghost pepper hot sauce made with the world's hottest hot pepper, the Naga Jolokia -- in short, stuff ranging from tame to insane on the heat scale. As a result, BEFORE I pour something on my food I always check the label *carefully* to make sure I know how much to use, and what to expect. Sometimes sauces in the same product family will have very similar labels, but wildly different heat levels, so it's wise (IMHO) to read the label before pouring it on. Unfortunately, Greg learned this lesson the hard way the other day.

You see, Greg had made himself a nice batch of chicken wings for dinner, and he wanted a tasty Buffalo style wing sauce to enjoy on them. He opened the fridge, and seeing two similar bottles of DEFCON wing sauce, he reached for the DEFCON 1 Wing Sauce, assuming the other one with the "3" (DEFCON 3 Mild Wing Sauce) was hotter. After all, 3 is higher than 1, so 1 should be milder, right?? Silly boy didn't read the label, where it clearly says that DEFCON 1 packs *Extreme Heat* and should be used sparingly, with caution, while DEFCON 3 says "low heat" plain as day on the label.

So of course he proceeds to slather his wings with DEFCON 1, takes a big bite, and thinks, wow, that's pretty hot, a lot hotter than I remember. Then he takes another big bite.... and a few seconds later is in extreme agony, coughing and running to the kitchen to pour himself a HUGE glass of milk. Once he catches his breath, he turns to me, face flushed and perspiring, and asks why the mild DEFCON has gotten so insanely hot. Suspecting his mistake, I ask to see the bottle he used and then calmly point out that DEFCON 1 is the hottest of the DEFCON products, not the mildest, and that as someone who loves reading military thrillers he should know the DEFCON scale (1 is the highest level of threat). Sheepishly he admits that he wasn't thinking, and didn't read the label... and then he chugs another glass of milk by the sink while rinsing off his Buffalo wings.

The moral of the story is to always check the label -- unless you don't mind burning off your tongue and getting your heart racing from time to time!

Zestfully yours,

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