So one day in ABQ (that’s what they abbreviate Albuquerque to around here) we saw in a local reader magazine that the 31st National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show was going to be happening one of the weekends we were here. In case you don’t know this already about me, I’m a bit of a nut about hot sauce, salsas, and spicy food in general. I’m always on the lookout for new additions to my collection, although Jeri seems to think I have enough already.
We picked up tickets for Friday evening 4-8pm show. It actually is all weekend long, but the guy in the box office said the stuff for sale gets rather picked over fast, a lot of vendors start to run out of the best samples, and so it’s best to go as early as possible. We arrived right at 4pm and there was already a line of probably a couple hundred people ahead of us to get in so it seems like it’s a pretty popular show.
The event was at the Sandia Resort & Casino. They used one of the ballrooms and there are over a hundred exhibitors with booths that you walk by and see what they have. Most of the time you’re just tasting a few drops of hot sauce on a small spoon, or a chip with some salsa, but some vendors went as far as to make samples with real food. I was feeling ambitious so I tried the hotter offerings in the first half dozen tables between the entrance and the ballroom. By the time we made it in, my face and hair were visibly wet and we’d only been there 15 minutes so I had to reel it in a bit. Several of the hot sauces displayed on a Youtube show we watch, Hot Ones, were there which was cool to try those out. Luckily, it was not all straight hot sauce. There was pickles, popcorn, caramel, fudge, jerky, fried garlic, etc (although most had a spicy variant) so we got to have a break here and there. We also tried a dozen free beer samples of various craft brews. After about 2-3 hours, we had our fill, but not after getting four hot sauces, hot and spicy sea salt, a green chile dill pickle, a green chile with cotija cheese salad dressing, and some green chile potato chips. Green chile is what you’re supposed to get while in New Mexico and that’s what we did!