Little Egg Harbor Man Makes 'Pissed Off' Pepper Sauces

By Pat Johnson | Sep 04, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson Randy Fuson with his four types of hot sauce made from his own organic peppers.

Little Egg Harbor — Hot sauce has always been on Randy Fuson’s mind. “When I was a little kid, we had a poster of a hot sauce bottle in the kitchen; my grandfather had given it to my mom. And I used to carry a 2-ounce bottle of Tabasco everywhere. I put it on everything and still do: I put it on eggs, pizza, French fries, burgers, Chinese food – yeah, it’s good. But not cake.”

Fuson has recently created a small business, “Pissed off Peppers,” bottling his own concoctions made from his own organic peppers. Those peppers are lovingly and carefully grown in organic soil outside his back door. Carefully because there are three types of peppers you should not touch with your bare hands: ghost peppers, Carolina reaper and scorpion peppers. “Wear gloves and don’t touch your eyes,” he suggests.

“The mildest pepper sauce I make is the jalapeño hot sauce; the next hottest is the cayenne pepper sauce that is similar to Frank’s Red Sauce, and it’s my most popular. Going up in temperature is a blueberry, mango, habanera sauce, and the extra hot is made with three peppers: the ghost pepper, Carolina reaper and scorpion peppers. The ghost pepper used to be the hottest, and then they discovered two more: the list of peppers last year included these two more crazy peppers.”

Fuson bought the seeds for his pepper garden from Pepper Joe’s on the internet. “There are hundreds of varieties for sale on the internet,” he said. “There are contests on YouTube to see who has the hottest sauce – I’m hoping one day to do that.” But Fuson is also going for flavor. “I don’t like the sauces that just burn; they have to taste good.”

He always had a small garden, but when he was able to purchase a house with his partner Lee Anne, he was ready to bring his vision into reality.

“This is only the third year I’m doing it. The first year I only had enough peppers for my own use. The second year, I had eight to nine plants, and I gave the sauces as Christmas presents and I got nothing but good reviews. Then this year I went all in, and I’m excited to be able to sell to strangers.”

The mango-blueberry concoction was a salsa recipe his brother made for his own wedding. “I didn’t want to make salsa, so I left out the tomatoes, and we experimented and it came out really nice. So I added a fourth recipe.”

Fuson followed all the safety precautions when canning his sauces. His friend Anthony Gentilello came up with the label design of an angry pepper spewing smoke in the air. The ingredients are said to be “Piss and Vinegar” as a joke. There are only four ingredients in Pissed Off Peppers: peppers, salt, garlic and vinegar.

Fuson will first unveil his hot sauces during the Tuckerton Historical Society’s Clamtown Flea Market on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Tip Seaman County Park in Tuckerton. Then he will be selling his wares at the Pine Barrens Jamboree on Saturday, Oct. 12, Wells Mills County Park.

Come and taste and see if there’s a new pepper hot sauce king being born in Tuckerton/Little Egg Harbor.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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