Add a serious dose of spice to your food wherever you are with some Ghost Pepper Bumps ($12). Inside this innocuous-looking travel tin lies 10 grams of freshly crushed dried Ghost Pepper chillies — the world's hottest — ready for you to drop on top of sauces, soups, pizza, your buddy's latte, and anything else you want to take from tasty to tragically hot.
"It takes a bad Jew to know good barbecue." So goes the quote that led to the formation of Bad Jew BBQ Sauce ($12/2-pack). As you might have gathered from the name, this is a Kosher BBQ sauce, giving our observant friends out there all the flavor with none of the guilt. We dare you to try it on your next pulled pork sammich.
Jonesing for something sweet? Feel a bit less guilty by stuffing your pie hole with some Yummy Earth Organic Candy ($4-$34). These USDA and EU certified organic treats are made with real fruit extracts, and are gluten-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, corn syrup-free, and often times fat-free, and are available as lollipops, gummy bears, gummy worms, gum drops, and artisanal candies.
Whether you're using them to accompany a favorite sandwich or simply looking for an unordinary snack, Stu's Sour Spicy Garlic Pickles ($11) should suffice. Made by Stu's Sour in Chicago, these pickles are farm-fresh, offering a great pickle taste, with a precise helping of garlic flavor and just a hint of heat. For true fans, you can even send in a black-and-white pic of your "sour" face for a chance at landing on one of the company's photostrip-style seals.
Take your taste buds on a trip across the country this July 4th with BBQ Rubs of the States ($TBA). This set includes four reusable tins packed with dry rubs of your choice, each meant to capture the taste and essence of a certain city — like Kansas City beef or pork rib, Santa Maria tri tip roast, or Lexington, NC slow-smoked pulled pork. Best when served with beer.
Are you ready to declare war on your taste buds? Defcon Sauces ($6-$40) can help you prepare for attack. This line of seasonings ranges from a relatively mild Buffalo-style wing sauce all the way up to the ZERO Sludge extract, which comes with a "Use with caution" warning, with stops for Asian-style sauces and Habanero Horseradish in between. Just remember to use them wisely, lest your guests decide to declare war on your kitchen. [Thanks, Dave]
Like a local pub crammed into a portable snack, these Black & Tan Cookie Bars ($40) mix beer and food to fantastic effect. True to their name, these bars feature a Guinness fudge stout brownie topped with a Bass-infused butterscotch ale ganache, and topped off with that bar snack staple, the crunchy salted pretzel.
Beer lovers, take notice: your favorite beverage is now available in a sweet, tasty treat. Beercandy ($7-19) is a line of assorted caramels and taffy, the latter usually covered in some form of chocolate, and made with IPA, Stout, Lager, and Lambic, giving it all of the hoppy flavor you've come to love. [Thanks, Chuck]
Some sauces are simply made to set your mouth on fire — but this isn't the case with Dragon's Blood Elixir ($8). Made in small numbered batches from various peppers with a hint of local apple cider thrown in for good measure, it's a sure-fire cure for bland food — it even says so right on the label.
Treat yourself to a Father's Day sweet that won't make you look like a sissy with this Smokey Bacon Maple Bar Cake ($35). Measuring 14" x 10" and serving up to 12 people, this delicious blend of fresh raised dough, maple, and bacon can, alas, only be ordered from Frost Doughnuts, which pretty much limits this one to those in the Seattle area. Although if you ask your significant other really nicely perhaps you can score a homemade version this Sunday.
Make your summertime cookouts the stuff of legend with some Pat LaFrieda Burger Blends ($30-$35). As third-generation butchers, Pat LaFrieda supplies some of NYC's top restaurants with the same options as you'll find here, including a pork shoulder & beef burger blend, a brisket burger blend, a turkey burger blend, and the "Ultimate" blend of Black Angus chuck, brisket, and short-rib cuts. Patty, grill, and serve — and don't forget the beer.
Jerky aficionados and simple snackers alike should enjoy the tasty meat that comes from SlantShack Jerky ($10-$52). Available in grain- or grass-fed beef varieties, this artisanal snack can also be purchased in pre-formulated, Chef's Choice form, while more adventurous eaters can use the Build-a-Jerky tool to pick their own meat, marinade, rub, and glaze, resulting in a super-fresh product that's way beyond what you'll find bagged up at the local convenience mart.