Shop Where You Can Singe Your Taste Buds

In a state that's known for the nutmeg, a new store in Monroe is bringing on the spice.

The Angry Pepper on Main Street at Stepney Road, is spicing up the local culinary scene with more than 400 hot sauces that can either tickle or singe the taste buds.

The Callahan brothers realized that hot sauce shops are more common in the South but felt the need to establish one of their own in Connecticut. For new business owners, the economy can be tough, but so far they have not felt the pinch.

"The economic downturn doesn't affect our business. Cooking as a hobby has become very popular," Liam Callahan said. "People don't want to deprive themselves of the few things that give them pleasure. They'll find a lot of things here they can't find in a grocery store."

Owen Callahan knows a thing or two about business.  He created the shop's angry pepper logo while working as an artist in the advertising field.

The shop has proved to be very entertaining, because several mainstream hot sauce companies offer products with outrageous names and colorful labels. Blair's, for example, markets a range of "death" sauces, ranging from Sweet Death and Ultra Death to After Death, each bearing a picture of a skull.

Other sauce brands include Who Gives a Rat's Ass, Bayou Butt Burner, Widow -- No Survivors, D.L. Jardine's Blazing Saddle, Crazy Mother Pucker's and Pain Is Good.

There is also a shelf devoted to Bloody Mary drink mixes such as: Bloody Mary from Hell, Wake Up Crabby, Kick-Star and Mr. T's Premium Blend.

The shop features several local brands as well, such as Tomspice of Norwalk, Chef Silvio of New Haven, Sachs of Milford and Hogtied of Oakville. The Angry Pepper also markets its own hot and chicken wing sauces.

The shop is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Monday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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