Posted November 14, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Florida inmates create, sell own hot sauce

BRANDON, Fla. (AP) — It can be difficult to add a little spice to your life when you’re in jail. But inmates at the Hillsborough County jail are trying.

The inmates had been growing hot peppers as part of a horticulture program at the jail for about a year when one of them suggested making them into a commercial sauce.

Allen Boatman, the horticulture program’s director, agreed and residents of the Falkenburg Road Jail in Brandon are now the proud makers of Jailhouse Fire hot sauce.

“The food here is kind of institutionalized, so it helps,” Boatman said.

Boatman and his students spent two years perfecting the recipe, a hybrid of a Caribbean-style hot sauce and a mustard sauce that includes habaneros, scotch bonnets and jalapenos. A 5-ounce bottle sells for $3.25. The revenue goes back to the inmate canteen fund and to culinary and horticulture programs for inmates.

Inmates say they prefer their own version of Jailhouse Fire, which is considerably hotter than what they sell for mass consumption.

“It’s a macho thing,” Boatman said. “You know, ‘I can eat the hottest pepper.'”

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog