In 1920's Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a guy name Thad Garner ran a barbecue stand called The Dixie Pig. His food was good but customers wanted a spicier kick to his BBQ sauce. So Thad and his dad, Sam Garner, came up with a new recipe that included cayenne peppers and other still secret ingredients. The people loved it.
The Garners called it "Mexican Joe". But that name didn't sit well with Sam. He wanted an American name. So, they changed Mexico to Texas to invoke the Tex-Mex feel. And Mike became Pete, named after another one of his three sons. To add further confusion, the son's name was actually Harold but Pete was his nickname.
The Dixie Pig restaurant closed up but hot sauce was still in demand. In 1946, Thad, Harold AKA Pete, and a third brother named Ralph formed the T.W. Garner Food Company. Despite its popularity, the company couldn't survive on hot sauce alone. The company needed to branch out. So Texas Pete became the brand name to a Worcestershire, wing, and various cocktail sauces and condiments.
Fun Fact: During World War II, Texas Pete sold its hot sauce and other sauces to the U.S. government as soldier rations.
Texas Pete Hot Sauce Economics Lessons
Sam Garner taught his sons to never be in debt. And that financial advice has stuck since 1942. Tabasco, Cholula, and Frank's RedHot still outsell Texas Pete and that's okay with Pete. The company philosophy still sticks to this day of not going into debt for growth.
How Hot Is Texas Pete Hot Sauce?
Texas Pete is considered medium on the heat scale, registering 747 on the Scoville heat scale. Texas Pete Hotter Hot Sauce is claimed to be three times hotter than original flavor Texas Pete. Tabasco Original Red Sauce runs from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and Louisiana Hot Sauce tops out at 450 SHU.
Texas Pete also makes a sautéed garlic hot sauce, wing sauce, Sriracha sauce, and green pepper sauce. The green pepper hot sauce is made by soaking whole green peppers in vinegar and salt, turning up the Scoville heat unit level to 550-900.
Texas Pete ingredients include Vinegar, Aged Peppers (Peppers, Salt, Vinegar), Water, Xanthan Gum, and Benzoate of Soda (to preserve freshness and flavor).
How To Get Texas Pete Into Your Life
Hot sauce devotees add it to barbecue, eggs, pizza, chicken, potatoes, and vegetables. There's really nothing it doesn't work with. Use as a taco sauce or make a spicy ketchup for your fries!
Spice up a brownie or cookie mix by adding an ounce or two of Texas Pete. Chocolate and heat are great together.
Get some dietary fiber the spicy way. Make a coleslaw dressing with mayo, Texas Pete, black pepper, and lemon juice. Or add to sauerkraut or a Reuben as a foodie twist.
Use as a chicken wings marinade or make a new dipping sauce for your nuggets. Combine ranch dressing, Dijon mustard and Texas Pete to taste.
Get creative at your home bar too! A dash or five of Texas Pete is so good with orange liquors like Grand Marnier or Triple Sec. Sweet bourbon drinks and of course Bloody Marys also scream for Texas Pete heat.
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