This weekend the Minnreg was once again filled with spicy sauces, salsas, jellies, baked goods, and more for the annual I Like it HOT! festival. Outside, Larry’s Pepper Ranch (20070 121st Road, O’Brien, FL) sold hot pepper plants from under its blue tent, and food stands sold empanadas, hot dogs, and barbecue.
Inside, the festival spilled into multiple rooms. In the main hall, hot sauce and other spicy foods vendors were set up in concentric rectangles, most with a bowl of chips and an assortment of hot sauces and salsas for sampling. In a side room, buckets of homemade salsas/bottles of hot sauce were set up on tables for the amateur hot sauce and salsa competitions.
AND THE WINNER IS…
As the festival came to its conclusion late this afternoon, Catch a Fire Authentic Jamaican Gourmet (Clearwater, FL), the first place winner in the favorite vendor competition, did a victory lap around the hall with trophy in hand.
This is my second time attending the annual I Like it HOT festival in Largo, FL. Although not large by festival standards, it is the “largest gourmet spicy food show in Florida.” Maybe that’s why it is in its 15th year and still going strong.