WHAT DO CYNDI LAUPER, HABANERO PEPPERS and Croton-on-Hudson have in common? An award-winning hot sauce, of course. The east bank of the lower Hudson is heating up now that former rocker and record producer William Wittman and his wife Barbara Soloman founded Loud Foods, Inc., and have begun production of Loud Orange Sunshine Mango Habanero Sauce.
Originally mixing up the sauce just to serve to friends at home, the couple’s passion for food and penchant for hard work (and solomon’s marketing background) grew the hobby into a full-time business in 2012. “in addition to making music and records, cooking provides another opportunity for me to express myself creatively and to (I hope!) please people,” Wittman says.
The couple sources ingredients from far and wide to produce the sauce’s unusual flavor combination. Sweet mango, a zip of rice wine vinegar and Dijon mustard with a touch of honey round out the fiery sauce. “We went through quite a few different sources for mangoes to find the ones that tasted right to me—and the same with the habaneros,” Wittman says. He compares developing the hot sauce to making a record. “I want it right because I want to have no regrets or excuses later on.”
This attention to detail has paid off—Loud orange sunshine hot sauce rocked the 2013 Scovie Awards, the world’s most competitive spicy food competition, with first–place recognition in the all-natural hot sauce category. “Those people know hot and spicy food,” Wittman says, “so validation from them means a lot.”
The versatile sauce invites cooks to spoon it on fish, chicken and grilled meats, and it adds a sweet kick to salad dressing. A variety of recipes utilizing the sauce (including “Electric Chimichurri” and “Psychedelic Shrimp”) can be found online at loudfoods.com. “Don’t just make it good, make it LOUD!” trumpets the website.
Orange Sunshine Hot Sauce is available online and at specialty stores throughout the Hudson Valley and greater New York metro area, including Fleisher’s Grassfed & Organic Meats, Adams Fairacre Farms and Mt. Kisco Seafood.