Datil Sensation Ketchup and Mustard - Datil Peppers
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  • Read the article from Go-TriCities Magazine about DatilSensation.
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    Datil Pepper Sauce is a favorite at the festivals.

    See the news article written in the Kingsport Times News Go TriCities Magazine.

    2005 Festival Schedule here.

    Go TriCities Magazine June 16, 2005

    For new pepper sauce, datil do
    By Fred Sauceman

    David Marshall and Wayne King give out tastes of datil sauces during this year’s Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City. Photo by Larry Smith.
    “It’s made so you can enjoy it, not endure it,” says Wayne King about his line of food enhancers that use tomatoes and mustard as their foundation. Datil Sensation is making the rounds of the region’s festivals and is a hot seller at a couple of Kingsport hot dog stands and in the parking lot at Lowe’s.

    Members of the Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ near Johnson City like it on their Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. It was that church’s ministry that drew Wayne out of datil pepper Valhalla, St. Augustine, Florida, and into the mountains.

    He brought along his pepper seeds and constructed a hothouse in Blountville to match the Florida heat and humidity. Some of his plants are seven feet tall or better and, kept picked, they bear the elongated, shallowly wrinkled, pointed peppers almost all year long. Half a bushel per picking is not unusual from one of the treelike plants.

    Datil is Spanish for “date,” and the name derives from the pepper’s resemblance to sweet dates, grown in the Mediterranean area and Middle East. Some theorize that the pepper seeds were brought over from Spain, but Wayne has studied datil pepper history in detail and thinks that’s impossible. He thinks the pepper has a South American or West Indies ancestry and that immigrants from the Spanish island of Minorca, living in St. Augustine, named it after their recollection of how fresh dates looked back home.

    Datil Sensation, bottled at the Clinch-Powell Community Kitchens in the Treadway community of Hancock County, comes in two varieties, Indian Summer, made with tomatoes, and Autumn Gold, with a mustard base.

    Wayne tells me he chose names Tennesseans can relate to, “since, unlike Florida, we do have autumn up here.”

    Both kinds are available hot and mild. The glow on the label, behind the humanized pepper, indicates the bolder flavor.

    “The drier the pepper becomes, the hotter it is,” says Wayne, who used to work for Florida Power and Light. “There are three stages of growth. When it’s green, it’s at its mildest, then it’s much hotter when it turns yellow, and the hottest when red. If you leave the peppers on, the plant shuts down, so we keep them picked.”

    Datils are disease-resist and are often described as “fruity.” The Indian Summer sauce is not only hot but sweet. Among the ingredients are white and brown sugar, molasses, and honey.

    Crystal Marshall, who manages the money for the business, mixes the sauce into meatloaf and into the topping as well. She says the red is good with shrimp and oysters and the yellow on corn dogs.

    “We can’t keep Mike’s Hot Dog Hut in Kingsport supplied with enough of it,” Wayne adds.

    “I made the sauce at church, and members kept telling me it was so good, we should take it to the public.”

    By the time this year’s over, Wayne, Crystal, and David Marshall will have sold sauce at 21 different festivals. Many of them take place in the hottest part of summer, but Datil Sensation not only gives out the heat, it can take it, too. Wayne says there’s no need to refrigerate the sauce after you’ve opened it. In fact, it’s really better to keep it out at room temperature all the time.

    Datil Sensation sauces are among a myriad of locally grown, crafted, and manufactured products throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia that are listed and described on a Web site operated through the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council — LocalGoods.org. The organization’s motto is “Be Loyal, Buy Local.” Listed on the Web site are custom-made violins, saddles, and bamboo fly rods, Pointer brand overalls, goat’s milk soap, and even information on the Blue Ridge Baby Company. For more details on datil peppers and sauces, visit datilsensation.com.


    Food writer Fred Sauceman, the author of “Home and Away: A University Brings Food to the Table,” is the dew executive assistant to the president for university relations at East Tennessee State University. E-mail him at sauceman@etsu.edu.

    Also Read:

    http://www.gotricities.com/content/ article.dna?idnumber=050615101234

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    Believe it or not, some people love Datil Sensation Datil Pepper Ketchup AND Datil Sensation Datil Pepper Mustard BOTH on their hotdogs! Give it a try!

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