It’s a Hot One

It’s a Hot One
Photograph by Mark Fleming

A Bangor weatherman’s spicy, award-winning sauce.

[dropcap letter=”O”]ne summer, WABI-TV meteorologist Todd Simcox had tomatoes growing like gangbusters in his garden. He made pasta sauce, but it tasted terrible. He tried salsa, and friends and family loved it. Now, varieties of Todd’s Salsa ranging from mild (without jalapeño) to mouth numbing (with ghost pepper) are on grocery shelves around New England. A few years ago, Simcox decided to recreate Inner Beauty, a defunct brand of mustard-based, Caribbean-style hot sauce that had a cult following among heatniks in the ’90s. His recipe uses Scotch bonnet peppers, papaya, orange, mango, and pineapple, and this year, it took top prizes at the World Hot Sauce Awards, in Louisiana, and at ZestFest, in Texas. “Anything you use mustard in or on, you can use this instead,” Simcox says. On a hot dog? Definitely. In potato salad? Why not? “If you load it up, it gets pretty darn hot,” he cautions. “Otherwise, it’s one you can enjoy without it melting your face off.”