Posted November 8, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Makers

Palmetto Pepper Potions Wins Two 2006 Scovie Awards

What seemed unattainable 14 months ago has become a dream come true for a Columbia. SC couple whose handcrafted hot sauces have won five major awards in the world’s top two fiery foods competitions.

Palmetto Pepper Potions, LLC has earned two prestigious Scovie Awards in the 2006 competition – a First Place win for Molten Golden hot sauce and a Third Place win for Larynx Lava hot sauce. The 9th annual Scovie Awards are the fiery food industry’s equivalent of the Academy Awards and feature a highly competitive blind judging sponsored by Fiery Foods & BBQ Magazine. Molten Golden won a surprise First Place Scovie Award in last year’s competition as well.

What began as a simple desire to bottle and share a bountiful chile pepper crop is now a rainbow of vibrant hot sauces that have attracted fans from around the globe, with orders from devoted chileheads in Nova Scotia, Great Britain and Costa Rica.

Mark and Julie Riffle, founders and owners of Palmetto Pepper Potions have made hundreds of batches of hot sauce in their journey from kitchen to marketplace.

“We are thrilled,” said Julie Riffle. “It is one thing to have your family and friends tell you that your hot sauces are among the best they have ever tasted. It is an unbelievable validation when flavors that originated in your kitchen earn recognition in a blind judging at the international level.”

Mark Riffle, known as the “Hot Honcho,” can’t imagine a business that would be more fun than hot sauce. “We love to do hot sauce tastings and see the reaction from people who taste our flavors for the first time,” he said. “People often ask to taste our ‘mild’ sauce and we have to let them know right away that there is nothing mild about red habaneros.”

Julie Riffle used an abundant crop of peppers to experiment and develop the company’s signature style of fresh-tasting sauces. “We used figs, loquats, peaches, fresh herbs and anything we could find in quantities,” she said. Many hot sauce creation nights followed and led to the recipes for Molten Golden — a Caribbean-inspired sauce bursting with fresh mangoes, curry, and cumin in a red habanero mustard brew, Larynx Lava, a red habanero and pineapple sauce, kissed with an afterglow of tangerine, ginger and fresh herbs, and Daily Red, a versatile tomato, red habanero, lime and garlic concoction. She currently is in the intricate process of batch-scaling Trenholm Venom, a red habanero and roasted red pepper sauce flavored with South Carolina peaches, ginger and herbs.

“Each of our hot sauce flavors has been handcrafted to the music of a favorite band or musician from the southeast,” said Julie Riffle. Molten Golden features singer/songwriter Mike Garrigan from Greensboro, NC, Larynx Lava features Mark Kano, lead singer and songwriter of Athenaeum, also from Greensboro and Daily Red features Sister Hazel, from Gainesville, FL. Trenholm Venom will feature Columbia favorites Danielle Howle & the Tantrums. “These were the bands we were listening to as we created each flavor. Amazingly, the bands all turned out to be hot sauce fans and the sharing of sauce has helped us meet some of our favorite musicians,” she added.

In September, Molten Golden and Larynx Lava both earned First Place Golden Chile Awards at the 2005 ZestFest, an international competition sponsored by Chile Pepper Magazine. ZestFest is the industry’s longest-running fiery foods competition and draws entries from around the world.
Palmetto Pepper Potions, LLC
PO Box 6126
Forest Acres, SC 29260
PHONE/FAX: 803-782-8020

Previous HSB Reviews of Palmetto Pepper Potions Hot Sauces:
Larynx Lava from Palmetto Pepper Potions
Molten Golden
Review: Larynx Lava

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog