Hot sauce will not be outdone. Mere months after French mustard maker Maille opened a high-end Manhattan boutique offering more than 20 varieties of mustards in jars and on tap (to be hand-poured into stoneware containers) and introduced its own “Mustard Sommelier” to New York City condiment lovers, a hot sauce tasting room is poised to open in Brooklyn with … wait for it … its own “Hot Sauce Sommelier.”
I know, sigh. But these purveyors of bottled heat are remarkably earnest about their endeavor, which they are cutely calling Heatonist. Previously peddling their wares in a wheeled cart, the Hot Sauce Mobile, which eventually proved unequal to their aspirations, they’ve decided to establish a permanent shop in the heart of hipster Williamsburg, where, according to a Kickstarter page set up to fund the project, they plan to set up a “charred oak hot sauce bar. Tasteful and timeless — like a fine hot sauce.”
The new shop, which is expected to open April 18 and feature a selection of 150 sauces from 50 makers, will be, they assert on Kickstarter, “NYC’s first and foremost destination dedicated to hot sauce: a space for one and all to discover new and unique hot sauces from all around the world.” Customers can look around themselves or ask for advice from Heatonist’s “hot sauce sommelier.” All the sauces are available to taste.
On Thursday night, with 49 hours of its Kickstarter campaign remaining and 302 backers signed on, the project had already surged not only past its initial funding goal of $18,000, but beyond $22,000.
And considering that Brooklyn already has a store dedicated entirely to fancy mayonnaise (if it does not already have a Mayonnaise Sommelier, it’s probably only a matter of time before it does), it sure looks like ketchup sure has a lot of catching up to do.