One of our newest brands this month is Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Sauces. The first hot sauce from Elijah’s Xtreme is their Ghost Pepper Sauce, which is met with rave reviews by practically everyone who has tried it. I love that this sauce was born from a father and son’s mutual interest in peppers, and the sauce itself masters that delicate balance between a satisfying, extremely hot heat and delicious flavor. I got the chance to talk with Bret Morey, the father half of the father-son duo to learn more about the story behind this awesome sauce—and to find out what’s next.
The History of Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Hot Sauce
Bret and his young son Elijah started growing their own peppers when Elijah was only 5 years old, and Elijah said that he wanted to be the youngest person to eat the world’s hottest pepper.
“Elijah and I would challenge one another each summer by each eating the hottest pepper in the garden,” Bret explained. “This was the annual father/son test to see who could take the heat without water. Every year even though we’d cut the slices the same size, he always seemed to somehow get more! (That was usually when his head was under the faucet getting water). He was about 12, and after trying many different hot sauces, he asked, dad can we make our own hot sauce? One that is thicker, with a good taste but was still really hot.”
Bret and Elijah tried to age their own mash each summer, but unfortunately they had to throw it out each year due to mold. In the summer of 2013, Elijah again asked Bret when they were going to make their own sauce: “At that, I told him we would cook it this time, rather than trying to age it,” Bret said. “It was that summer when we finally tweaked the recipe and Elijah’s Xtreme was finally born. It was named Xtreme, not because it was so hot, but rather because Elijah wanted to be the youngest person to eat the world’s hottest pepper. So that name is after Elijah who wanted to be Xtreme!”
Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Sauces officially launched the following year in 2014. Their first sauce is truly a gourmet sauce. Bret describes it as having a “thick, creamy, smooth texture and perfect balance of heat and flavor” that makes “it a new favorite of all who try it.” He’s not exaggerating either; Elijah’s Xtreme has won numerous awards and continues to receive excellent reviews. It’s no wonder that today—less than 2 years after they started their company—you’ll find their sauce in hundreds of stores across the United States and Canada, including national chains such as Bass Pro Shops.
“Neither Elijah nor I even imagined that we would be this blessed with success, growth and awards,” Bret shared. “We thought, well if no one likes it, we could at least sell our first batch and get our money back. And if it took off—well, we’d have fun with it….We have even had several inquiries from overseas companies to carry our hot sauce. It’s all pretty exciting.”
How Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Sauces is Giving Back
Elijah’s Xtreme also currently gives a portion of all profits to Second Harvest in Charlotte, NC (part of Feeding America) to help feed the hungry.
“We believe as we have been blessed, we need to share with others and what better way than having a food product, like our hot sauce and using a portion of the profits to help feed others,” Bret explained. “There is close to 48 million Americans (including 16.2 million children) who struggle to put food on their tables each day. It breaks our hearts to know anyone in America would go hungry, let alone anywhere in the world. Every tiny bit we can do helps.”
Although Elijah himself is going to college in the fall to study business and marketing, Bret will continue to keep Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Sauces going strong while Elijah is in school. “He will help at shows or other key events when he can,” Bret said. “Elijah’s goal is for both of us is to continue to push to grow the brand while he’s away earning his business degree. The big goal is to have something he can jump into once he has his Master’s Degree.”
Bret also revealed that they’re crafting a new Reaper sauce that they hope to launch next month at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo. While Elijah prefers more vinegar-based sauces, Bret likes more hardy pepper and fruit-based flavors. Their new Reaper sauce will contain a blend of black cherries, cranberries, and a dash of bourbon—plus the Carolina Reaper peppers, of course.
If you haven’t tried Elijah’s Xtreme Ghost Pepper Sauce, be forewarned: It is HOT! It’s also extremely flavorful, made with real Naga Jolokia and Habanero peppers and no pepper extract. Bret recommends trying it on grilled chicken if you want to make the most of the flavor and reduce the heat a bit: “[On grilled chicken], it’s not as hot since it’s getting cooked off, but it adds a nice taste and bit of heat. Add honey and butter, and it makes GREAT WINGS! We have a wing dipping recipe using goat cheese that’s wonderful.”
Bret also suggests adding it to chili, soup, eggs, rice, Mexican food, pork BBQ, fish, and more: “We’ve even been told it’s great on cheese cake, in brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. That’s why we say it tastes great on just about everything—including dessert!”
Feel free to try it for yourself and let us know what you think! Elijah’s Xtreme Gourmet Sauce is now available at Hot Sauce Depot. I want to thank Bret for taking the time to answer my questions.