Photo | Courtesy of HABIT
The local Bend company, HABIT, has released a new rare hot sauce — it’s fermented, raw, probiotic, vegan, gluten-free and unpasteurized, with no additives, vinegar or preservatives. Full of prebiotic fiber, micronutrients and enzymes, fermented foods are known to aid in digestion, boost immunity and help maintain a healthy microbiome.
The first flavor offered in the HABIT line is Habanero Hibiscus, which is described by founders and long-time friends Bud Torcom and Drayson Helberg as “tangy, spicy, occasionally bubbly… and having just the right amount of complexity and funk.”
To create their unique hot sauce, Helberg and Torcom hand-make each small batch by fermenting three different varieties of organic, non-GMO peppers sourced from local Oregon farmers. The peppers are combined with flavor-packed aromatics and seasoned with Merken, a little-known Chilean spice known for its mellow smokiness.
“The fermentation adds a tanginess to the heat of the peppers that isn’t found when a sauce is made by cooking or using dried powders,” said Helberg. “It brings brightness and complexity to whatever dish or drink it’s added to.”
The company is releasing a second flavor — Blueberry Habanero — this month.
“What makes this hot sauce so unique is that it’s probiotic,” said Torcom. “Now, maintaining a healthy gut biome is as easy as adding hot sauce to your favorite dishes.”
The founders of HABIT take environmental impact into consideration for their recyclable glass bottles, and they do not use the plastic stoppers found in the packaging of most liquid sauces.
HABIT is featured at several Bend-area restaurants and grocery stores, including: Deschutes Brewery, Zydeco, Bistro 28, Active Culture, Bangers and Brews, West Coast Provisions, Bethlyn’s Global Fusion, Newport Market and Terrebonne Thriftway.
HABIT’s Habanero Hibiscus and Blueberry Habanero hot sauce are currently only offered in Central Oregon at Deschutes Brewery, Zydeco, Newport Market, Bistro 28, Bangers and Brews, Active Culture and West Side Pharmacy.
The company plans to offer its products throughout the United States by January 2020.
Welcome to your new habit.