Craig Bakay | Jul 17, 2019
Ghost Road, Maple Fire, Zombie Sunset, Sheer Agony, Red Viper . . . sounds a bit like the upcoming season of The Walking Dead, doesn’t it?
But no, these are a few of the 13 varieties of hot sauce available from MissFortuneS Unforgiving Hot Sauces, which are produced in the kitchens of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Sydenham, by father and son team Erik and Taylor Miazga.
And after about three years in business, there are plenty of signs that they may just be on to something.
“We’re pushing 40 locations (where their sauces are available),” Taylor said.
These include where you might expect in the Frontenacs such as Food Less Travelled, Trousdale’s, Seed to Sausage and Foodland, but they’re also expanded out to Gananoque, Perth, Trenton, Belleville, Kingston.
The hot sauce business isn’t a full-time gig for either of them — yet — but that’s definitely looking like a distinct possibility.
Taylor drives truck for Findlay Foods and through his deliveries, he’s managed to cultivate a network of contacts that’s paying off.
Erik was injured a couple of years ago in a car accident and hasn’t really been able to do other work, but that’s OK, he’s kind of the creative end of the team — both in the kitchen and product development/artwork.
“I used to do a lot of the cooking around home,” he said. “But I’m not one of those who sticks to recipes.”
To that end, he started “experimenting” with red pepper jellies which he would give to friends and families.
“(But) with jellies, you have to put pectin in and I could never really come up with the right consistency.”
So, the natural progression of his culinary art led him to sauces — hot pepper sauces.
But Miazga is definitely his own man, and his philosophy led him to a rather unique product line.
“We’re not out to fry somebody’s face off,” he said. “We start out with a flavour and then add the heat.”
For example, Maple Fire is 30 per cent (“local” maple syrup) with hot pepper added.
“We have 13 flavours, all with their own heat level,” Erik said. “It might be cranberry, sweet & sour, curry or Louisiana style.
“Then we add what peppers, or combination of peppers, we think will work best.”
This isn’t your typical little bottle of Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot.
MissFortuneS comes in a mickey-sized flask bottle with some of the most unique labelling around.
“People seem to like our labels,” Erik said.
For example, one flavour is “Kamikaze” which features the tag line “to die for.” And then there’s “Asylum Serum” for “when you can’t make up your mind.” That one features artwork of the asylum Lizzie Borden ended up in.
And even though their current product line is doing well, the Miazgas aren’t about to rest on their laurels. They see expansion into marinades, meat rubs and such. They’re also working with restaurants like Mesa Fresca in Kingston to develop house sauces and bulk for places like Gilmour’s who use in in their .38 Special sausages.
“And we’re trying to devise a logo for sway,” Taylor said. “I’d like to see this a full-time thing for sure.
“Right now, I can spend a full day in the kitchen, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and then have to work the next day.”
The way things are heating up this grilling season, that could easily be just around the corner.
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