Crystal Hot Sauce

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The post-Hurricane Katrina Crystal Preserves sign on Tulane Avenue, Mid-City New Orleans.

Crystal Hot Sauce is a brand of Louisiana-style hot sauce produced by family-owned Baumer Foods since 1923. 3 million US gallons (11,000,000 L) of Crystal Hot Sauce are shipped per year to 75 countries.[1] The sauce is reddish orange with medium heat, and has been described as having "a more prominent dark chile flavor, and a slightly subdued vinegar profile"[2] when compared to Tabasco, another brand of Louisiana-style hot sauce.

History[edit]

Originally based in New Orleans, Crystal was famous for its lighted sign featuring a chef stirring a pot of hot sauce with steam from the factory venting out through the pot. The sign was a New Orleans landmark on Tulane Avenue in Mid-City, visible from Interstate 10. The preserves advertised on the sign were found in U.S military rations during World War II, but are no longer produced.[3]

Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city in 2005, damaged much of Baumer Foods' New Orleans plant, including the sign. Following the storm, the company moved its plant to Reserve, in St. John the Baptist Parish, located up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.[4] The iconic sign was replicated and placed atop a new apartment building, built on the same site as the old factory. As of April 2021, the company maintains its head office in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans.[5]

The green wrapper that sealed the bottle had the word Crystal written on it previously; after Hurricane Katrina the writing no longer appeared on the label.

Currently[when?], the dark green over-wrap says both "Crystal" and "Louisiana" in white cursive letters.

Ingredients[edit]

The ingredient list on the product's packaging is: aged red cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, salt.

In popular culture[edit]

American chef David Chang has said that Crystal is his favorite hot sauce.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

https://www.theadvocate.com/gambit/new_orleans/news/blake_pontchartrain/article_081c9c8f-c890-5f74-a4ed-c7009a69b4b7.html

  1. ^ "The History Behind the Hot". Baumer Foods. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
  2. ^ Kindelsperger, Nick (2020-02-13). "Hot sauce tasting: The ultimate guide to America's most popular brands". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  3. ^ Gold, Scott. "12 Things You Didn't Know About Crystal Hot Sauce". Thrillist. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  4. ^ "The national scene". Orlando Sentinel. 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  5. ^ "Baumer Foods Inc - Company Profile and News". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  6. ^ Sherman, Elizabeth (2018-05-29). "David Chang's Favorite Hot Sauce". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2021-04-25.

External links[edit]

External video
video icon The Hunt for Red Hot Peppers, promotional video for Baumer Foods, discussing the process of manufacturing their hot sauce