HMJ–Not Just Another Hot Sauce

Hot sauces have become a multi-million dollar business around the world. But the true hot sauce lover knows the unique flavors are found in the small batch artisan hot sauce maker.

How hot a sauce is depends on the individual palate. A sauce that is mild to one can be hot to another. Some sauces are made intentionally hot for virtually any palate. Others are made to bring out the taste of the food and not mask it with heat or flavorings.

Help Me Jesus Hot Sauce® was awarded 4.5 out of 5 (peppers) for flavor and 3 out of 5 for heat. This makes it the perfect condiment for meats and vegetables. “I didn’t develop this sauce to mask the flavor or burn the tongue,” comments Mark Alison, owner of Flavortown Brands® and Help Me Jesus Hot Sauce. “Being from the South, I love the individual flavors of greens and grilled meats. This sauce simply takes those flavors to another level. It’s like the freshness you get when you add lemon to ice water.”

HMJ, as the sauce is abbreviated, does have an evil twin however. “So many people, who really do like it hot, thought the original wasn’t hot enough, and they were right,” says Alison. “We used the same flavor profile we had with HMJ and added Ghost Peppers and spices to kick it up.” The new bottle comes in a white cap to designate ghost pepper and a slightly different label indicating the approximate scoville heat level.

Buying HMJ is not easy. Most sauces are mixed and bottled. HMJ actually has to marinate for six weeks before it is ready to be used. “Everybody knows that a good chili or banana pudding is better the next day,” says Alison. “Our flavors have to blend through an aging process for six weeks before they are perfected. They are taste tested and approved before being sold.” Due to the aging process and small batch cooking, HMJ is not available on every store shelf and can take a few weeks for delivery. “We’ll never get rich making this sauce, but it does have a cult following and as long as they want it, we’ll make it.

The Pepperheads Spoke

May 11, 2016

Help Me Jesus Hot Sauce was designed to be a complement to the flavors of foods and vegetables. A 3.5 on a scale of 10 in heat so it didn’t mask the flavor of the food. My Pepperhead friends thought the name heralded a hotter flavor and while HMJ was voted 4.5/5 on flavor it was lacking in sufficient heat.

Ed Currie, the famous curator of the Carolina Reaper suggested Reaper pepper and rightfully so. He created the hottest pepper in the world. After some conversation we felt the Bhut Jolokia (aka ghost pepper) flavor would be more suited to the current pepper quartet. The idea was to keep the original flavor but add about five points of heat. An so the Help Me Jesus Hot Sauce “Ghost Pepper” white cap version was born. It is more like a 8.5/10 depending on the person tasting. To Ed it is probably less. He eats reaper for TV crews all the time.

The GP version is available in very limited quantities at this writing.