A local food company is bringing the heat to Queens with a new product bearing the borough's name. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report:
Capturing the flavor and taste buds of the city's most diverse borough is not going to be easy, but the makers of The Bronx Hot Sauce have moved into Queens to give it a try.
"Queens hot sauce has an international flair. It's a different flavor profile and a different taste," says John Crotty, a co-founder of Small Axe Peppers, the company that manufactures the sauces.
The Queens 7 Greenmarket Hot Sauce is set to hit the shelves this fall. And, no, the "7" that is part of the brand name may evoke the No. 7 subway line, but it's actually a reference to the number of ingredients, including fish sauce, a staple in many Asian dishes.
"Queens is an international world we think the sauce is worthy of its international heritage," Crotty says.
The recipe is different, but the Queens Hot Sauce duplicates a production model that began with its Bronx cousin.
Grow NYC, a nonprofit organization that runs dozens of greenmarkets in the city, is paying nine community gardens in Queens to grow the peppers. The Korean American Family Service Center runs one of the gardens. It will use the money from its pepper sales to help victims of domestic violence.
"We learn how to do business as well and meanwhile we can actually make side income selling the peppers," says Inae Lee, a counselor at the Korean American Family Service Center .
Queens 7 will be sold in a half dozen states where the The Bronx Hot Sauce s are already on the shelves -- retailers committed to locally sourced products and sustainable community development projects.
But how will it stack up to the Bronx's green and red version?
We did a taste taste. After trying them, some people with the Bronx red. I liked the international flavor of the Queens 7, but of course I would. Besides, nothing beats Queens, right?
"We like to be the sassy borough. We are excited that people see the value of branding themselves as Queens," says Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
Excited -- and hopeful that the Queens hot sauce becomes a hot item.