Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering immigrant communities, housing, economic inequality, and culture. She also authors Navigator, a weekly newsletter for urban explorers (subscribe here). Her work also appears in The Atlantic, NPR, and BBC.
The Heatonist store will offer 150 varieties of fiery goodness.
Cholula, Sriracha and Peri Peri—those are the three hot sauces I prefer. I don't use them together, of course, but the one I end up choosing has to match my meal. I can't douse my breakfast burrito with Sriracha, or my dumplings with Cholula. There are rules.
Any hot sauce enthusiast will tell you that they aren't all the same. Each has a nuanced flavor profile—overtones and undertones, different types of kick. What you choose depends on your mood, your preferences, and the tenacity of your taste buds.
But while I survive on my grocery store hot sauce selection, Noah Chaimberg wasn't satisfied with his. Frustrated, he came up with Heatonist, an online store carrying 75 types of hot sauces, and in April, his Kickstarter-backed storefront will open in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (where else?). The Heatonist store will offer a menu of 150 hot sauce varieties, food pairings, chef visits, and tastings under the guidance of sauce sommeliers (yes, that's a thing).
"We really needed a place where we can try different sauces before you buy them," Chaimberg tells CityLab.
The store is a space where people come in for more than just shopping—they come in to celebrate "all things spicy," says Chaimberg, who was previously a chef. Looking ahead, he wants to create a monthly hot sauce subscription package, so customers can get the fiery goodness custom-made to fit their personalities and preferences, and have it delivered to their homes.
"Hot sauce is really a big vehicle of expression," he says.