This was my first year at The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival and I admit I felt and tasted the summer and sauce heat. It was a steamy Austin afternoon at 96 degrees, and Fiesta Gardens was packed!
When I arrived, of course, I realized that I forgot to bring a nonperishable food item to donate and failed to stop by the bank so I could make a cash donation. I felt terrible since it is such a great cause, but fortunately, I was able to talk to a volunteer who was super sweet and directed me to a tent that could accept credit cards for donations. Not only did they take credit cards for donations, but they offered a little gift for donating, so double bonus!
Then, I met up with some friends and we decided on a line to try some tasty hot sauce. There were several different categories of sauce lines to choose from so it was a little difficult to pick one. Now I am a HUGE sauce fan, so I was super psyched to try numerous different kinds of sauces. We chose the green sauce line and stood in line for at least a good 30 minutes. That was the downside to this kind of event, the long waits in long lines. The sauces helped make up for it though! I tried several sauces that I loved and one that even made my nose run and my eyes water. It felt like the longer it was in my mouth, the spicier it got.
The event actually serves as a major fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Last year’s festival raised over $12,000 and almost 16,000 lbs. of food, and this year’s festival raised over 45,300 meals for the community!