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edible Monterey Bay Winter 2016

www.ediblemontereybay.com 21 makes its sauces single-origin to allow the terroir of each heirloom variety to come through. “A serrano from Rose Ranch in Sonoma is going to be unique from a serrano from Old House Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains,” Pargh explains. “It’s important to us to respect those distinctions.” A desire for a no-waste product spawned two other Burn goodies—pickles and probiotic powders. Pargh could only pour one batch of post-fermentation pepper brine down the drain before starting to experiment with reusing the beautiful byproduct to pickle seasonal vegetables. e pickles—raw and wild-fermented like the hot sauce—maintain a freshness, crunch and intensity of color that quickly made them a farmers’ market hit. From baby carrots pickled whole with dill, green garlic and cayenne to cyclone coriander ginger beets, the pickles ($7–$9 per jar) give Pargh a chance to really play in the kitchen. ey also offer an opportunity to highlight other local farms—Happy Boy, Blue Heron, Live Earth—that aren’t necessarily providing the company with peppers. Escabeche, the newest pickle line, was the perfect use for an abundance of green jalapeños in an otherwise slow growing season. It also is repurposed as an incredible brine for everything from bright golden beets to psychedelic pink radishes. Burn’s honeycomb-hued probiotic powders ($3 per jar) are made from the fermented seeds and skins left after the hot sauce is passed through a sieve. ey are dehydrated at a low temperature so as to not kill off the probiotic properties, and then ground into a powder. Says Pargh, “It’s nutritional yeast meets chili powder—umami goodness that can be sprinkled on anything!” Currently, you can find the hot sauce ($9 per bottle) at most New Leaf markets and at specialty stores all over the West Coast from Portland, Ore., to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. But for pickles, powders and Burn updates from the owners themselves, visit the downtown Santa Cruz farmers’ market every Wednesday, or the Felton, Live Oak, and Westside markets on a rotating schedule. Anyone who has had the chance to meet the couple at a market knows that they are as vibrant as their technicolor ferments. Pargh effuses passion and focus, her face in a permanent open-mouthed grin, while Atkins is full of warmth and knowledge. To approach their booth for a sample is to be welcomed into their home. “We are Burn,” Atkins emphasizes. “It’s important for us to be involved with our community and be at farmers’ markets to be able to share our vibe through our product.” “It’s so special to be able to see first-hand people enjoying our creations,” Pargh chimes in. She often captures these first reactions of delight—and sometimes surprise at an unexpected zing—with her camera, which she then posts on Instagram, brightening Burn’s followers’ feeds with daily posts of product, preparations, process and, most important to Pargh and Atkins, people. is winter, Burn will extend its lineup to include four new pepper varieties, including two habanero blends (habanero/orange bell pepper from JF Organic Farms in Chino and habanero/escamillo from Groundswell Farm in Santa Cruz) for those who like their hot sauce turned up to 11. e habaneros, as well as Bulgarian carrot pepper and golden cayenne sauces, will add vivid orange and yellow hues to an already eye-popping assortment. Some of the habaneros will even be aged in an agave spirit barrel from Venus Spirits for a VIP batch. Other future plans include making prepared foods at markets and festivals. “We’re thinking market-inspired sandwiches and snacks,” Pargh says excitedly. “It’s a chance to put our product into play and promote many of the other vendors at the market.” Gorgeous, delicious and good for both the eater as well as the planet, it’s no wonder Burn’s products have acquired something of a cult following. But Pargh herself remains awed at what she and Atkins are able to create with such simple methods. “It’s amazing to see what these chili peppers become,” Pargh reflects. Organic peppers, water, salt and time are the main ingredients the couple lists on their website. “And love,” Atkins adds. “Definitely love.” Rosie Parker, a native New Englander, likes to complain of missing home while living the Santa Cruz highlife—surfing, hiking, writing and working for a delicious craft brewery. Burn Hot Sauce www.burnhotsauce.com info@burnhotsauce.com


edible Monterey Bay Winter 2016
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