Arizona Gunslinger

When we were ordering breakfast yesterday at the Feedlot Cafe in Marana, our friendly waitress asked if I would like hot sauce with my meal. She rattled off five or six options, then added, with a note of doubt in her voice: “Or would you like to try some Arizona Gunslinger?”

Somewhere a clock chimed, a hot gust of wind blew, and a lonesome piece of sagebrush rolled by.

“Arizona Gunslinger?” I gulped, as a horse in the distance whinnied in alarm, the hinges on the saloon door creaked loudly, and an ominous chord of music sounded in the background. “Sure, I’ll give it a try.” The waitress left and brought back a bottle of deep green chili sauce that promised it was “smokin’ hot.” “Here you go,” she said with a note of trepidation in her voice.

As I examined the bottle, I noticed that mothers were pulling their children indoors and the shopkeeper across the street was closing his doors and shuttering his windows.

When my eggs and sausage and hash browns were delivered, I tried some of the sauce, using deliberate and judicious application rather than a quick draw technique. And I found I liked the Arizona Gunslinger sauce. In fact, I liked it quite a lot. It’s got a kick like a mustang and a nice warm finish in the throat, and definitely added a bullet-like zing to my eggs.

When I finished my food, I ambled out the front door, glad that I had survived my encounter with the Arizona Gunslinger rather than being carted off to Boot Hill.

Banana Ketchup And West Indian Hot Sauce

If you go down to the beachfront restaurant at Ti Kaye, you’ll find three condiments: regular tomato ketchup, banana ketchup, and West Indian hot sauce.

Banana ketchup, you say? I’m not a fan of regular ketchup, but banana ketchup sounded so tantalizing I had to try it. And since I’m always on the prowl for some good hot sauce, the West Indian hot sauce is right up my alley.

The banana ketchup and the hot sauce have almost exactly the same color, as shown in the bottles above and on the plate below, where you can see the banana ketchup on the lower left and the hot sauce on the upper right, bracketing my conch fritters. The banana ketchup is pretty good. It’s very mild and sweeter (and a lot less acidic) than tomato ketchup, and a nice complement to french fries. I’m a bit surprised that banana ketchup hasn’t made inroads in America–at least, not yet.

The West Indian hot sauce is a killer. It’s chunkier than the ketchup–with the chunks no doubt bringing the heat–and it’s got a lot of flavor, with a spice level that creeps up on you, and some of that fine, post-consumption lip burn that hot sauce aficionados crave. I’ve used it on regular french fried, sweet potato fries, conch fritters, and saltfish accras, and it hasn’t disappointed in any combination.

They say that part of the joy of travel is the thrill of discovery. I’m glad I discovered banana ketchup and West Indian hot sauce on this trip.