If you can't beat the heat, eat it. That's what thousands did today at The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival at Fiesta Gardens. The festival, which benefits the Capital Area Food Bank, features a competition with three categories: individual, restaurant and commercial bottlers. There are several hundred entries each year and festival goers get to taste as much as they can handle. What started as a small contest more than 20 years ago has turned into the world's largest hot sauce festival according to The Chronicle.
"The cool thing about the hot sauce festival is a lot of people have entered as individuals and have won and have turned that into a business and have gone on to start their own commercial bottler company as a result of their success here," says Erin Collier, Marketing Director with The Austin Chronicle. Last year's festival raised more than $12,000 and almost 16,000 pounds of food was collected.