In 2003, I lived in a flat in the Allentown area of Buffalo, NY. My yard was an unattended, large space. I asked my landlord if he would be so kind as to till part of the yard for me so that I may grow a garden. To my delight, he obliged with a huge ‘L’ shape garden bed. I spent the subsequent spring and summer in the yard, caring for my new garden. Among the many fruits and veggies, I had grown two habanero plants. Well, the yield was fantastic; I didn’t know what to do with them all! My friends were willing to take everything I had grown save my two gorgeous habanero plants. One day, while food shopping, I realized that I was out of hot sauce. I began to read the ingredients list: Vinegar, hot peppers and spices. It hits me. I can do better with all my fresh new ingredients straight from my garden. I utilized the food strainer, a tool I grew up using while making the freshest tomato sauce ever, and I created my first hot sauce: Mexican Aftershock.
Mexican Aftershock is the perfect name. As a young adult, I briefly lived in Los Angeles. In the year that I was there, I survived five quakes. Each quake produced intense residual effects, which the natives coined “Aftershock”. These aftershocks rolled up from the Gulf of Mexico. After blending the habanero chili peppers with tomatoes and a secret blend of spices, I tasted my sauce and said, “Oh… this isn’t hot enough, where is the heat, I’ve just put a huge amount of hab… OH! There it is! The heat sneaks up on you, its the Mexican Aftershock.
~Valerie Meli, Creator of HeadStone Heat.