Heat From The Hammer has two distinct product lines: sauces and snacks. The snacks are made with the sauces providing that addictive heat feeling in addition to the bold flavour. We currently have seven hot sauces in two different categories. Our Classic Hot Sauce lineup includes: Rousay Red #5 , Pollo Y Pescado and Molten Mango. Our Up and Coming Hot Sauce lineup features sauces we are working on and hope to add full time: Devil's Punch, Nikola's Electric Elixir, MILDFire and WILDFire. In addition to our hot sauces we also have spicy sauces: Balsamic Burn Marinade/Sauce and Cherry Fusion BBQ Sauce. Our snack line currently features Heat From Above: Fiery Cheese Bites and Battlefield Trail Mix. Below are the stories of our products, please check them out!
ROUSAY RED #5 HOT SAUCE
Rousay Red #5 is our flagship product. This sauce won third place in the 2022 Eternal Flames Awards at Heat Wave Expo in the Medium Hot Sauce category! We use it as an ingredient in a couple of our other sauces and in our snacks. The sauce is a combination of red Thai chilis, red finger chilis (aka red hot chili peppers) and Scotch Bonnet peppers. The distinct flavour hits you first then the heat comes. For those just getting used to hot sauce this will seem medium to high heat for you. The seasoned vets will likely find this on the medium section of the hot scale.
With its sweet tomato flavour this sauce is the ultimate utility sauce: on eggs, garnish for hot dogs (or our favourite: chili dogs), as a flavour/heat boost to pasta sauce, topping for pizza, added to chili to bring the heat, on burritos, as a wing sauce, on oysters and other seafood dishes. Our ultimate use for Rousay Red #5 is in Canada's most celebrated cocktail: The Caesar!
The name comes from the island of Rousay (pronounced R-ow-see) in Orkney, Scotland. The shield is a variation of the Orcadian flag. The Costie family immigrated from their homeland to Hamilton, ON in the mid 1800s and the name is a nod to my mom's ancestry on her father's side. To this day we have relatives living on Rousay! The #5 represents that this was our 5th attempt at making a hot sauce which fortunately for us turned out to be "the one".
BUFFALO BOUND! BUFFALO STYLE WING SAUCE
When you think of chicken wings one city should come to mind: Buffalo, NY! This was the birthplace of the famed snack and is only 15 min away from where Val grew up in North Tonawanda. Buffalo has a distinct flavoured sauce that goes on the wings which is mostly a vinegar based hot sauce. Most people use Frank's as a wing sauce but Buffalo mainstays like the Anchor Bar and Duffs make their own sauces. We decided to make our own version of this red chili sauce but added some ghost peppers to give it a pleasant heat. If you like making wings then you should try this hot sauce!
If you wanted to get to Buffalo you actually could have taken a train ride directly from Hamilton to Buffalo! The TH&B railway was chartered in 1892 to server the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo corridor. The headquarters for the railway was in Hamilton where it operated independently until 1987 when it was incorporated back into its parent company CP Rail. The railway primarily served the Niagara Penninsula as well as connecting to Brantford providing both cargo and passenger service.
POLLO Y PESCADO HOT SAUCE
Pollo Y Pescado (pronounced Poy-yo Eee Pes-cad-o) is a Mexican inspired hot sauce that loosely translates to "Chicken and Fish". The heat is less intense than Rousay Red #5 but it is equally as flavourful. The sauce is yellow-green in colour due to the ingredients used to make it: jalapenos, Scotch Bonnet peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes and avacados. Lime juice is added to enhance the flavour.
With its citrus hints this hot sauce is perfectly paired with any chicken or fish dishes: basted on BBQ chicken breasts, wing sauce, added to salads containing chicken or even tuna, on baked fish dishes such as a side of salmon or haddock fillets, perfect on chicken or fish tacos and burritos. Shrimp or scallops can be sauteed in this versatile sauce. One of our favourite uses is to add a touch of heat and flavour to chicken noodle soup. These are just our suggestions but feel free to try it on anything! We hear it also tastes good with pork!
Mohawk College is one of Ontario's largest colleges and is located on the west mountain of Hamilton. Our daughter graduated from the graphic design program in 2021 and she designed our Pollo Y Pescado candy skull. She also designed our new logo!
MOLTEN MANGO HOT SAUCE
When trying to think of the most brightest-orangest thing possible two things come to mind: lava and molten steel. Although there are no volcanoes in the Hammer (its ok I'm a geologist, I've checked. Nothing but sedimentary rocks to see here), we do have steel and lots of it. With names like Dofasco, Stelco and National Steel Car, the industrial north end of Hamilton is dominated by the massive buildings used to make steel. As an awe inspired child in the 70s driving through the streets that dissected the steelworks and peering into the giant buildings and catching a rare glimpse of the bright orange lava like liquid being poured was always a highlight.
Our Molten Mango Hot Sauce was mentioned to me by my friend Natasha who suggested we try making something with mangoes. Challenge accepted and within a week we had it! Mangoes, Navel Oranges and persimmon provide the sweet fruity taste and scotch bonnets provide the heat. Its bright orange colour is reminiscent of my childhood memories of seeing the freshly made steel!
NIKOLA'S ELECTRIC ELIXIR
In 1898 Hamilton became the first city in Canada to adopt NIkola Tesla's AC electrical system sending power from the Decew Falls generating plant in St Catharines to Victoria Ave in Hamilton approx 54 km away. This gave Hamilton a cheap source of energy making the city an industrial powerhouse and gave rise to the city's steel manufacturing industry. To commemorate Tesla's contributions to the growth of Hamilton a portion of Burlington Street running through the city's industrial north end was officially renamed Nikola Tesla Blvd.
Our ginger-turmeric sauce has an electric taste that will shock your meals with flavour! The combination of fresh ginger, turmeric and scotch bonnet peppers adds a jolt to your dishes! The heat is on the mild to medium end of the heat spectrum but combined with the flavour it creates an outstanding addition to any meat or fish dish especially in soups and in stirfry.
We are excited about this one! Its our first sauce with Carolina Reapers and Trinidad Scorpion peppers! We put strawberries and pineapple in here to give it a nice fruity flavour up front and then that awesome lingering heat kicks in! This is very addictive!
The sauce pays homage to the Devil's Punchbowl in Stoney Creek. The Stoney Creek carved a bowl shaped feature in to the Niagara Escarpment creating Hamilton's third highest waterfall (121 feet). The beautifully coloured sedimentary rocks are layered on top of each other displaying hundreds of millions of years of history! Hamilton is the "City of Waterfalls" with over 150 waterfalls within the city limits! The Hamilton Conservation Authority preserves many of these waterfalls.
MILDFIRE AND WILDFIRE
Not everyone is able to tolerate a lot of spicy food and so we wanted to make something that allowed people with a lower heat threshold to still enjoy adding hot sauce to anything they make. We combined kiwis and jalapenos for a wonderfully fruity flavour with a touch of heat. It was so tasty we had to create a hotter version so those who do like it spicy could enjoy the same bold flavour!
In 1990 the Hagersville Tire Fire burned for 17 days near the town of Hagersville just south of Hamilton. It captivated the nation as almost 14 million tires burned. . Our labels for MILDFire and WILDFire pay homage to that historic event that had a long lasting impact on how tires are recycled in Ontario.
BALSAMIC BURN MARINADE/SAUCE
Balsamic Burn Marinade was purely a result of the pandemic lockdown in 2020. Val is from North Tonawanda and Western NY is famous for Chiavetta's sauce, a brown vinegar based marinade used primarily on chicken. The towns of Western NY often have fundraisers selling bbq'd Chiavetta's chicken and we always had access to an ample supply. Until 2020. Unable to visit Val's family in the States our stockpile of Chiavetta's disappeared rapidly.
Faced with no timeframe to be able to procure more we took matters into our own hands and tried to create something similar. Balsamic vinegar dominates the taste and is followed up with the heat from our trusty Rousay Red #5 hot sauce. Throw in some roasted sesame seeds, old fashioned mustard and homemade ketchup and you have something that is, well, delicious. The only way I can think of describing it is kinda of like a teriyaki sauce gone sour with added heat. Maybe. You'll have to try for yourself and tell me what it tastes like!
CHERRY FUSION BBQ SAUCE
Did you know that Hamilton is home to a nuclear reactor at McMaster University? It has been operational since 1959 and is Canada's largest research reactor. Merging two things together to make something new is the basic premise of fusion. When we set about making a bbq sauce we knew we were going to add Rousay Red #5 to give it a kick but we wanted something that would give it a unique, bold flavour that was something other than mesquite or chipotle. We decided on cherries as the other element.
Cherry Fusion is a thick, dark, sweet sauce with the unmistakable flavour of cherries fused with the heat of Rousay Red #5. Its quite versatile and can be used as a true bbq sauce on meats, as a dipping sauce for nachos or chicken nuggets or it can be used as a topping on burgers or rice dishes. We've even had someone put it on vanilla ice cream!
HEAT FROM ABOVE: FIERY CHEESE BITES
Heat From Above: Fiery Cheese Bites are a crunchy and spicy snack made from baked cheddar cheese with Rousay Red #5 hot sauce brushed on it. The idea came from trying "Lava cheese" on a flight to Iceland. We took that idea and made it spicy! Once you put the crunchy snack in your mouth you taste the cheese then after a second or two you start to feel the heat. From the moment you take the first bite you will find yourself reaching for more!
The Lancaster bomber pictured in the logo makes its home at the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum located beside Hamilton Airport and is one of only two of these remaining World War 2 bombers that is still able to fly. It can be seen flying over the skies of Hamilton during the warmer months of the year. Its unmistakable rumble as it passes overhead leaves you in awe and to this day every time I hear it approaching I run outside to catch a glimpse of this magnificent machine. Hopefully the taste of the Heat From Above: Fiery Cheese Bites leaves you feeling the same way!
BATTLEFIELD BOOST TRAIL MIX
We've created the ultimate trail mix for an unforgettable energy boost! Battlefield Boost Trail Mix delicately balances the sweet flavours of baked apples, pears and strawberries and combines them with plain pumpkins seeds and spicy peanuts and sunflower seeds. The peanuts and sunflower seeds are roasted in Rousay Red #5 hot sauce to add the heat. The combination of sweet and heat is a favourite around our house.
During the War of 1812 American forces were advancing towards York (present day Toronto) with plans to capture Upper Canada. They camped out on the Gage Farm in Stoney Creek making preparations to continue their march. On the night of June 6, 1813 a much smaller contingent of British regulars, allied Indigenous warriors and Canadian Militia conducted a surprise nighttime attack on the larger American force. The Battle of Stoney Creek resulted in the retreat of the Americans back to Forty Creek in Grimsby where they met up with reinforcements. Before they were able to reassemble and move forward again British warships on Lake Ontario bombarded their position and forced the Americans to retreat back to Western New York.
On the 100th anniversary of the battle, Queen Mary unveiled the Stoney Creek Tower at the site of the battle to commemorate the lives lost but also to celebrate 100 years of peace with our American neighbours.
EVELYN'S KILLER BBQ RUB
If you like to grill or smoke then you need to add the flavour of Evelyn's Killer BBQ Rub to your next meal! Ancho and chipotle powders provide a savoury mesquite taste reminiscent of Southwest cooking. This stuff is great on steak, roast, pork tenderloin, ribs, chicken wings, chicken breasts and even on fish! We also like to drop a few pinches in a bowl of soup to give it a nice pop. Also great sprinkled on popcorn. And best of all, if you mix 1 tbsp of rub with 2 tsp of celery salt and 1/2-1 tsp of table salt you have yourself a flavourful Caesar rimmer!
In 1946 Hamilton was enthralled by the sordid tale of Evelyn Dick and her murdered husband John. The sensational trial became known as the "Torso" case due to the grisly nature of the crime and captivated all of Canada. Jay's grandfather Hugh Costie was a reporter for the Hamilton Spectator and covered the trial!