HEAT PACKED WITH FLAVOR: In a world that seems to cater to chili-heads, it’s refreshing to find She Peppers, a hot sauce and seasoning company in Alexandria that dishes out sting without skimping on flavor. “We focus on the taste, not on killing your taste buds,” says Stephanie Freeman, who, with fellow owner Vickie Lucas, grows most of the peppers, onions and other ingredients in her home garden.
We tried Yolo, the hottest sauce, made from the fiery Carolina Reaper pepper; ShePeppers, the mildest, made from cayenne; and Dragon Fire, a garlicky blend with jalapeño. Other products include Sriracha, harissa and jerk pastes; seasoning blends; and pepper seeds and seedlings. As it’s a relatively new operation — begun in September 2014 — that focuses on small, high-quality batches, each variety is not always available; check shepeppers.com for the most up-to-date information.
— Kara Elder