Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Tale of Hot Sauce: The Cult of Marie Sharp's

Anyone who is from or has ever been to Belize knows about Marie Sharps hot sauce. It's like ketchup at a Burger King-you can't get away from it. Marie Sharp's famous sauces grace every dining table in the land. Even if you opt to eat out, you will find it, sitting expectantly next to the ketchup or the fine wine, omnipresent in the Belizean consciousness and omnipotent in its fieryness. No lunch, dinner or even breakfast is complete without a little habanero-and who better to deliver that endorphin filled taste sensation than our own beloved Ms. Marie?

We Belizeans are dedicated devotees of our hot sauce and the Belizean diaspora in the USA can be found lugging suitcases full of tamales, johnny cakes and Marie Sharp's classic fiery habanero pepper sauce on their return from visits home. I for one always pick up a bottle or two or have family bring it to me when they visit. I also carried it with me to both Spain and Argentina where, I am proud to say, I personally converted several locals to the cult of Marie Sharps. When I return to Argentina it will be with a bottle of her fiery sauce in my hand, ready to spice up any traditional asado that might be going down.

In the meantime, if you are inclined to try Marie Sharps, it has now started appearing in the U.S. at various venues. I found it most recently at a tiny hot sauce store in the beach town of Chincoteague VA! However, the surest way to get some, aside from going to Belize, may be to order it online. A quick Google search reveals that you can even order it at Amazon, although I would suggest checking out some of the independent hot sauce emporiums operating online such as Fire Girl, Hot Sauce World, Sam McGee's or Dr. Chile Pepper, which offers Marie Sharp's Corporation's complete line of hot sauces, jellies and jams for sale and delivery in the USA.

Marie Sharps produces a full line of hot sauces, some with cactus or citrus bases as opposed to the traditional carrot, some mild, some tongue scorching. However the classic and by far favorite hot sauce is her Fiery Hot Habanero Sauce, which, with its carrot base and lime accents, is the perfect accompaniment to every food from pizza to Argentinean beef. Don't leave home without it! The few times I have, I deeply regreted my oversight. Everything tastes better with some good habanero sauce and Marie Sharps is about the best you can get.

Now I realize this post sounds like an ad for Marie Sharps Corp. However, I assure you I am in no way affiliated with the company. What you read here is a pure and deep love for my favorite hot sauce of all time, a classic condiment that can lift the bland to sublime heights and instantly transform any food into a Belizean meal. If you have tried a Marie Sharps hot sauce I would love to know what you think about it, so please leave a comment!


Michael said...

I was easily converted to the cult of Marie Sharp's when I spent a summer in Belize (Santa Familia, outside Cayo) in high school, and despaired for years that I couldn't find it in the states.

In DC, you can get it at Uncle Brutha’s Hot Sauce Emporium, over by Eastern Market.

Lyra said...

Oh yeah thats true. I haven't been in that place in years. I always get it at home, where it is much cheaper, and carry bottles back we me. Good to know it has a local fan.

Chennette said...

Hello. Saw you post on Cynthia's blog (Tastes Like Home) and had to visit another Caribbean food blogger. Love your blog and the stories about Belize. I've been there a few times for brief visits but only really managed to get to Belize City and Belmopan. Always wanted to visit more of it!!

Lyra said...

Hey Chennette, sorry I didn't respond before...I need to figure out some kind of system where I get emailed when someone leaves a comment-maybe make moderator approval required. Belize City and Belmopan, while interesting, are not the most beautiful parts of the country. I will have to check out your blog too!

Ms. Kate said...

My husband and I went to Belize for our Honeymoon in 2008 and brought a few bottles of Marie Sharps back with us. It is the absolute best hot sauce I have ever had! Our best memories of our honeymoon are of our Belizean breakfast with scrambled eggs with peppers and onion, refried Belizean stewed beans and Marie Sharps! By the way, thanks for the recipe for stewed beans. I'm making a big batch today. Perfect compfort food!

Cheloquito said...

Hi, Lyra. Found you looking for stew beans recipes, but was motivated to reply after finding the post on Marie Sharps; some years ago, I was married to a Belizean girl and travelled there many times, mostly to Belize City, north and west to ruins, and always to Ambergris Cay. Although happily re-married now, I harbor a deep and abiding love for everything Belizean, and her people. I so enjoyed your comments about Marie Sharps; sadly, living in Miami, I had intimate knowledge of how Miss Marie was ripped off by the jerk brothers who stole her recipe and are markeing it as "Melinda's." Always had a hard time being around them at Belizean gatherings in Miami. Anyway, thanks so much for all your comments. Mi gwan mek sum stew beans an' creol' bred. Good luck in Indiana.