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Chris Amirault

The Last Bottle of Inner Beauty Real Hot Sauce

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As far as I can tell -- and, believe me, I've been working hard to disprove what I'm about to say -- this is the very last bottle of Inner Beauty Real Hot Sauce on the planet:

gallery_19804_437_591518.jpg

I became a fan of Inner Beauty two decades ago, when Chris Schlesinger brought his grillin' and BBQin' to Cambridge MA at East Coast Grill. After a while, this legendary hot sauce (mustard-based, with fruit, spices, and habaneros) started appearing in grocery stores throughout NE and became a big hit on the burgeoning hot sauce circuit. It was my go-to hot sauce, and I probably went through a bottle every couple of months during the heyday.

But then, for reasons that I've never understood (nor, honestly, been told), Schlesinger stopped making the stuff. It started disappearing from market shelves, so in the early oughts I bought all I could find and hoarded it. Well, until I ate it all, too quickly.

See, I was confident that I'd find little caches here and there if I looked hard enough, but for two years I came up empty. I also tried making it based on some recipes floating around, but, well, it's not the same. I gave up hope.

Two years ago, while on a trip to visit family in -- of all places -- Bisbee, Arizona, we ambled into a gift store to get a few cold Cokes on a blistering July afternoon. Lurking on the shelves of that tiny store, next to gew-gaws and bric-a-brac, were the last two bottles of Inner Beauty in the world.

It took me nearly two years to make my way through the first bottle, and I'm now into the second, and last. I don't know how to think about it. How do you eat the very last of something in the world, something you've treasured for most of your adult life? Do you have little dribs and drabs, spread out over years? Or do you consume it with verve and pleasure, the way it was meant to be enjoyed? The whole concept puts me in an existential dilemma that I have faced, largely, with confusion.

Has anyone had a dilemma like this themselves -- or are you in one now? What did -- do -- you do?

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When it was obvious that Pepsi Blue was going to be cancelled, I bought up a bunch of it -- and discovered before long that hoarding 20 ounce bottles (all I could find, at that point) is no hoarding at all. It went flat much faster than cans, and I wound up boiling it down into a syrup and recombining it with club soda (and vodka, for Blue Pepsi schnapps), but some of the flavor was lost in the transition.

I pretty much stopped hoarding temporarily-available soda after that, and haven't got any Red Fusion left, or Pepsi Holiday Spice, etc.

(The hoarding started, actually, with Moxie -- which isn't cancelled at all, and there's no last anything of Moxie, but for the years I lived in New Orleans, my carry-on luggage was always the same when I came back from trips to New Hampshire: 24 cans of Moxie and two pounds of pastrami.)

Oh man, and I had some Ore-Ida Tato Dogs or Tater Dogs or ... something like that ... in the back of the freezer for a year, in a double layer of Zip-Loc freezer bags. This was when I was in grad school, that was the last convenience food I really loved -- they were like mini corn dogs with Tater Tot instead of cornmeal -- but they went from "difficult to find" to "obviously discontinued and this is the last of the stock" in pretty quick time. I wound up reserving them for use as comfort food, cooking a snack-size portion whenever papers piled up or something.

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A stab in the dark but; try Double D Meats in Mountlake Terrace, Washington 98043 and (425) 778.7363.

As Butchers go I'll mostly pass but they have an absolutely incredible collections of hot sauces, must be nearly a thousand.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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I have a stash of Swartenbroeckx belgian chocolate bars... They were an old standby in the Zabar's chocolate selection and were a favorite of mine for the excellent flavor profile in their 77% bars, as well as their cacao nib enhanced bars. About 5 years ago they got rare, and the supply eventually dried up, and my attempts at Belgian corporate archaelogy indicate that the company got bought and the line discontined, sadly. So the 5 bars left in my fridge are the last of that noble kind, as far as I can tell. I'm going through them very slowly, until I find an affordable chocolate that matches or surpasses them.

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For me, it was the Mama Brand kao soi ramen noodles, which I can't seem to find anywhere.

Anyway, when it came to the last few packets, I had a couple, and, it's funny that I chose to just eat and enjoy them. You could savour it bit by bit, but I'd say enjoy with the verve which was intended. Life is fleeting!

It's funny, but the intention is to make it last long, but as soon as you've plowed through the first half of something, just another taste, maybe another, and I throw caution to the wind. But savour every bite as you throw caution to the wind and enjoy it with the intended verve.

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Yeah, I saw that -- but that recipe lacks half a dozen ingredients on the label. I am skeptical.

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Chris, what type of ingredients are missing? Is it time you took one for the team and gave it a try, perhaps coming up with something that is even better?

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Andie, majordomo doesn't seem to want to accept me, perhaps because of several past moderator jobs during which I cursed the software to the skies.

Susan, I've tried to recreate the sauce at various times, but, well, none match the perfection of my little bottle o' joy.

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Chris, I wonder if the commercial version is cooked, and if that would make a difference?

Regardless, the last dribs and drabs of the last bottle should be served alongside a really spectacular meal. Then pull out a box of kleenex and have a good cry.

Edited to add: Have you thought about contacting Top Secret Recipes and putting the challenge to them?

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You could write to Chris Schlesinger and beg him for the recipe. Can't hurt to try!

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Chris, I must have been in denial over the last few years trying to convince myself I was just unlucky in locating Inner Beauty.

Now you confirmed my suspicion that they stopped production. :sad:

It truly was a wonderful sauce with depth of flavor and not just heat.

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I thought I would keep a can of Diet Pepsi before they made the switch to NutraSweet/aspartame and found out the hard way that the seal on the pop top doesn't last forever. :angry:

I tried hording Ore Ida Potato Triangles for awhile. They were like Tater Tots, except large and in a triangular shape. They rocked. You can horde for only so long until Freezer Burn becomes a concern.

Oh, and those spices in my cupboard aren't old. I'm hanging on to them because they don't come in a can anymore and I'm collecting the tins.

Yeah, that's it. :rolleyes::laugh:

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Before I moved to Napa, one of my favorite places to visit was the Remy Martin-owned distillery, RMS. Just before I moved there (November of 2003), I came up for a visit and while at the distillery, was dismayed that their beloved Pear Brandy Caramel Sauce was not on the shelves. I asked about it and the clerk found me two bottles in the back. I also bought two bottles of their much-loved Pear Brandy.

Six months later, RMS closed up shop. Most of their holdings were sold off to discount shops and whole barrels of alembic were either moved to their Canadian holdings or were sold to local wineries who used the product in some fortified wines.

I still have a half bottle each of both the brandy and the caramel sauce. I pull them out for special occasions and even though the caramel sauce has been in my fridge these four years, has not seemed to suffer any.

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Chris,

I feel your pain. I got hooked on coyote cocina fire roasted salsa a long time back and then it disappeared from my local source. I mail-ordered for years after but felt ridiculous spending so much on jarred salsa and eventually gave up. Making your own is easier but there is something about that salsa I can't let go.

So enough of my problem. I found these links with the Inner Beauty Recipe straight from Schlesinger's desk:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/02/chris-s...gets-saucy.html

http://www.seriouseats.com/images/20070215schlesipe.jpg

If this doesn't match your ingredient list, maybe you could list what's on the jar and we can all help sort it out.

Good Luck on your quest!

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Rasta Fire Hot Hot Hot Sauce is touted by some to be close to Inner Beauty, both manufactured in Costa Rica, I believe.

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Wichita had a microbrewery that produced a trio of beers -- Archangel Ale, Purgatory Porter, and Red Devil Ale as I recall. When I heard they were closing their doors, I bought a few cases at bargain prices as my go-to beer store was clearing out their stock. It was good while it lasted, and I have one bottle of each left, which likely would be of questionable quality over 10 years later, but I hold on to them as a collector item. Also have one bottle of Romulan Ale, a beer sold out at the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas, but it's just a standard central American beer with blue food coloring, no exotic flavor. And the coloring has some disquieting side-effects...

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Until about two weeks ago, I had what I think was the very very last limited edition Cafe Latte flavoured KitKat. I had been hoarding it in the freezer at work, but I thought since it was from 2005, I should eat it already. It was still perfect.

And now I have none...

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And I'll bet you take little consolation from the fact that you can try making your own, huh?

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I think I may have the last box of "blue-label" extra fine "Brownulated" brown sugar made by Domino. They still sell "Brownulated" sugar but it is much coarser - comes in a yellow bag and there is no "extra-fine" in their product list. The box is still in its cello wrapper, seal intact.

(only because I put it away in a cake tin in the pantry and forgot all about it until I came across it when searching for something else a few months ago. It is at least 10 years old, probably older.

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Andie, majordomo doesn't seem to want to accept me, perhaps because of several past moderator jobs during which I cursed the software to the skies.

Susan, I've tried to recreate the sauce at various times, but, well, none match the perfection of my little bottle o' joy.

Check out FireGirl

Another way to get to Chile-Heads home page,

Mark's home page

You should really check out his barbecue photos.

or

email Mark at mstevens@exit109.com

Tell him about the problem getting to the web site.

Also check the Ring of Fire search engine.

Here's another recipe:

I B hot sauce recipe

And here is a site where quite a few hot sauces are described in detail.

Carl's favorites


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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