Up to now, if you've wanted to order hot sauces, barbecue sauces, jerk marinades and other spicy foods by mail, Mo Hotta -- Mo Betta in San Luis Obispo, Calif., was where you turned.
But now it's got competition. Javier "Papo" Muniz, a musician with a degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Warren "Willy" Rosen, an artist and chef from Minneapolis, have teamed up to produce the Blazing Chile Bros. catalog.
Based in Aptos, Santa Cruz County, they've assembled some 120 products, including Devil Drops, a rare sauce made from the datil pepper in St. Augustine, Fla.; Capital Punishment pepper sauce ("Once the bottle is opened, not even a call from the governor can save you"); and Don Alfonso's Mole Poblano, a rich sauce made from fresh and dried chilies, ground sesame seeds, nuts, Mexican chocolate and assorted herbs and spices.
To introduce their first catalog, they sent along a sample of the habanero pecan brittle they carry at $3.75 for a 4-ounce packet.
The habanero is a darn assertive pepper, and as candies go, this isn't the sort of stuff you'd offer a youngster.
But the big surprise was how balanced it came off; it was hot, sure, but not so spicy that the heat dwarfed either the rich Texas pecans or the thick, crisp sweetness of the brittle.
To order a free catalog, call the Chile Bros. at (800) 473-9040.