Don’t let the name Newport Jerky Co. fool you. Sure, this store on Thames Street in Newport has tons of jerky made from a variety of meats, including the usual beef and turkey and running to the exotic, like python, snapping turtle, alligator, alpaca, clam strip, kangaroo and octopus.
But they have a variety of hot sauces as well for people who like their food a bit on the hot side all the way up to stuff that threatens to melt your face.
Remember your dad’s Tabasco Sauce? Fuggetaboutit. Hot stuff is measured in Scoville units, and that stuff’s in the thousands. Some of the nuclear stuff at Newport Jerky measures in upwards of the millions. It’s surprising the bottles holding these sauces don’t melt.
I heard one customer with his wife fairly swoon when he saw a row of Mad Dog 357 hot sauces, telling her it’s just what he needed to fire up his chili and soup. There’s one, Mad Dog 357 Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce, that’s made with world’s hottest peppers, known as Bhut jolokia – which the Mad Dog site says is used in chili grenades to repel elephants.
Some other hot sauces here have creative, somewhat cringe-inducing names like “Butt Pucker,” “Colon Cleanser,” “No S–t This is Hot!” and “Fire Ball,” the latter a round bottle shaped like a bomb with a wick coming out of the cap that we do not recommend you try getting through airport security.
Newport Jerky Co. also has marinades, sausages, salsas, ketchups, bacon candy canes, and even wild boar dog treats. Its site says it has “gourmet exotic and delicious specialty items.” Exotic to be sure, but you decide how delicious ant wafers, a bag of bug edible bug mix, and a can of an edible, hairy, zebra tarantula can be. Yeah, you can get all that at or through Newport Jerky Co.
Variety is the spice of life. And if you like your variety hot, this is the place to heat things up – to the point of melting your face.
(Newport Jerky Co., 424 Thames St. and 125 Swinburne Row, Newport, www.newportjerkycompany.com, 401-644-2350)
Photos by Paul E. Kandarian