Will Hot Sauce Sales Forecast the '08 Winner?

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Hot sauce? Hot air? Both?

Barack and Hillary are tied for 12 percent, and Newt's hanging on, just barely, with 4 percent. Independent candidate Nunov Deabove? He's missing from the mainstream media but has a respectable 9 percent here. These aren't AP polls, but hot sauce sales for the presidential-themed bottles at Dave's Gourmet.

Dave, the same guy responsible for the tongue-burning Dave's Insanity sauce, created an online voting system for his presidential hot sauces. Taste-wise, they're all the same. Hillary's got the same red-chile-pepper content as Mitt. And Fred Thompson isn't full of Southern smoky flavors just because he's from Alabama. But what cartoonish caricature do you want to support?

At Uncle Brutha's hot sauce emporium in Washington D.C.'s Eastern Market area, Obama is missing from the shelf. All four original bottles are gone, and though Clinton's row is well-stocked, Uncle Brutha's has gone through three orders for her (selling eight in total). Edwards and Giuliani are trailing, with only one bottle sold each, and still none for Gingrich, Thompson, McCain or Gore. Wait, Gore is running? According to Dave he is. Speaking of Dave as the presidential oracle, he had Thompson in bottle form even before the man officially declared his candidacy.

Ah, if only the Hot Sauce World really did govern national politics..

About the author: Erin Zimmer, Serious Eats's Washington, D.C., correspondent, is a just-graduated Georgetown gal following her nose about town as Washingtonian magazine's Dining intern and Best Bites blogger. She got her start as the Hoya campus paper's food columnist, and since entering "real person-hood" has ached for her dining hall's omelet station.

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