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Announcing OC Weekly's First-Ever Hot Sauce/Salsa Contest!

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Flickr user uberculture

You'll remember that last year, I was invited to be a judge at the Austin Chronicle's huge Hot Sauce Festival. The event was so memorable that I started thinking about how to start something similar in Orange County, something that would determine once and for all the best salsa or hot sauce in OC.

Then, I had a book to write--HA! (Still do, for that matter.) But I'm glad to announce we finally have a date, venue and a skeleton of a format. Details after the jump!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 23--that's when our first Hot Sauce festival will occur at the Fullerton Public Library from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There, you will be able to taste from the 20 best hot sauces in Orange County: 10 homemade, 10 from restaurants or commercial makers and select a people's winner for each category, while judges will choose  the best from each as well.

And how will we get to those 20? With a preliminary round judged by Edwin, Dave, Shuji, Anne Marie, Javier, Michelle, myself and a couple of other celebrity (for us) judges. We want to taste your creations, or those of your parents or restaurant, whether it's pico de gallo, pepper sauce, vinegary, fiery, made with fruit, nothing but jalapeños, or something else. Just stay away from liquid smoke, for chrissakes.

Details will come on how to enter your hot sauces, but know right now there will only be two categories (restaurant/commercial and homemade), and entries are limited to people in the OC/Long Beach area--better not try to sneak one in, Eastlos. There will be a nominal entry fee (probably no more than single digits), because the Weekly doesn't exploit and this is a fundraiser for the Fullerton Public Library, and there will be Latino vendors (Salteñas! Pupusas! Tacos!) to complement all the salsa-tasting. Spread the word, and stay tuned...

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Location Info

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Fullerton Public Library

353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA

Category: General

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16 comments
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Melissa
Melissa

Hmm. I may have to enter my habanero hot sauce. :) I'll keep an eye out for more details as they come...

Bill T.
Bill T.

Growing up in So. Cal., I always new "pico de gallo" as "salsa fresca". Was there an actual shift or is it my false impression?

Superwab69
Superwab69

You god damned douchebag, pico de gallo is fucking everywhere down here. I can't wave my arms around without knocking down 10 bowls of that shit.

Jack Green
Jack Green

The commercial entries better include Pico Pica or you'll have me to deal with.

Angeltoastmaster
Angeltoastmaster

You'd probably have more credibility in the matter if you changed your name to Joaquin de la Verde. Jack Green? Chale ese.

Jack Green
Jack Green

 At least I use my real name...

Superwab69
Superwab69

Jack, you dumb as fuck, cuz.

Your argument is invalid.

Samantha
Samantha

This sounds fun AND yummy!How do I got about entering my salsa?

Marty Vidal
Marty Vidal

Can you arrange a salsa contest in LA, please? EastLos and SouthLos wants to enter!!! Thx you for your consideration.

Holla!

DanGarion
DanGarion

 Sounds promising.  I've been contemplating trying to make some sauce, I tried it years ago before the internet really had much information on how to start from scratch.  Now I'm growing my own peppers and tomatoes in my back yard.  I guess we will see what I can put together.

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