The year between shows—2011 to be exact—was a wild and crazy one in the world of chile peppers. We were bombarded with superhot chiles from all angles, and the record for the world’s hottest pepper changed so many times that the typical chilehead was not only bewildered but getting a bit tired of what is essentially a meaningless quest for the title. I mean, after all, can anyone tell the difference between a 500,000 SHU chile or one that registers 1.2 million SHU or more? I don’t think so. That said, fresh superhots are in great demand, as Marlin Bensinger proved by selling every single pod grown in his one-acre superhot plot in Las Cruces.
Another astonishing development was a hot sauce actually winning the top prize in our Scovie Awards Competition—for only the third time in sixteen years of competitions! Our congratulations to Pan-Cali Foods and their wonderful Panama Red hot sauce. It’s great to see the return of that name—not sung by the New Riders of the Purple Sage or smoked in a bong—but rather spicing up all kinds of food in the DeWitt household.
And another thing that continues to amaze me is that Chile Pepper magazine, which I founded with Robert Spiegel and Nancy Gerlach in 1987, is still being published after going through how many owners over the years? Maybe seven? I wish the new owners, McAby Media of Houston, good luck with a publication that’s now in its 25th year of publication.
And our show will celebrate 24 years of existence with the 2012 show and I’d like to thank all the exhibitors and devoted attendees who have hung with us over all these years. Keep it hot, everyone! For more information on the show, go here.
–Dave DeWitt, Mary Jane Wilan, Margaret Henderson, and Emily DeWitt-Cisneros