Wild Blackberry Carolina Reaper & Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
Death Heads - skulls with wings - can be seen carved onto headstones in older graveyards and burial grounds throughout the Annapolis Valley. This practice followed puritan settlers that came from New England after the French Acadians were kicked off their land in the mid 1700's.
We pay homage to this macabre bit of local history by combining wild blackberries that grow defiantly along nearby fallow farm fields with a deadly mix of Carolina Reaper and Ghost Peppers. A rather fitting tribute, wouldn't you say?
Intensely hot while still maintaining it's rich and fruity base, it's the perfect punch for BBQ meats, grilled salmon, morning eggs, and even drizzled over ice cream.
Ingredients: blackberry, raspberry, apple cider vinegar, habanero pepper, red pepper, cayenne pepper, carolina reaper pepper, ghost pepper, sea salt
There are a number of unused, left fallow, and in some cases outright abandoned, farm fields near us. Each of them harbour a wild blackberry patch or 2 along their edges. The thorny brambles are an early colonizer of disturbed ground that's reverting back to it's wild state. The dense foliage attempts to keep larger shrubs and trees at bay while it's delicious sweet fruit attracts birds that then spread it's seed across the landscape. The seeds can lay buried for decades until something disturbs the land again, such as a forest fire or clearing the land for farming, and then is left alone for the blackberries preferred conditions for germination.
Like the wild blackberries there are numbers of old burial grounds scattered throughout the Annapolis Valley. Some with gravestones dating from the mid 1700's when the death's head was a common decoration carved onto them. Later the skull of the death's head became more stylized into a human face to represent angles and then later more childlike as it evolved into the cherub. Many more examples of these styles exist making the death's head a rarer occurrence. Examples of the the Death's Head can be found in older burial grounds in Halifax and Annapolis Royal, but the later cherub versions are more common in the Wolfville Burial Grounds and in cemeteries right here in Canning and nearby Upper Cannard.
Because this sauce uses wild blackberries instead of cultivated berries it will remain a limited edition sauce. We hand pick the blackberries and because of the aggressive thorns we may have put literal blood, sweat and tears into this sauce. Both the Carolina Reaper pepper and the Ghost pepper are used for the sake of their names and their extreme heat. The Reaper is the current record holder for worlds hottest pepper. The Ghost pepper held that title up until 2011.
As hot as this sauce is - it'll give you the head sweats - the blackberry flavour really comes through in it's full wild richness though not as sweet as a blackberry jam as we've added no extra sugars. It pairs nicely with grilled pork or salmon while vegetarians should try it with grilled vegetables. Pour it over a soft cheese and use it as a spread for crackers - the cheese will help tame the heat some. You can off course add a few drop to fried or boiled eggs, where every hot sauce shines.