As a child growing up in Fillmore, California, Carmen Zermeno could always count on a corner of her dad's garden being flush with the varieties of chili pepper plants that thrived in the hot California sun. The more her parents cut them, the more they grew. And the family couldn't eat them fast enough because they were so hot. Today her brother carries on the family tradition in his garden in the slightly cooler beach climate of nearby Ventura.
Carmen has long been the lucky recipient of this abundance, but with too many peppers to eat fresh, she began drying them and blending them into a hot pepper concoction she kept in a jar next to her stove. She sprinkled her mixture into soups, pasta sauces and water for boiling vegetables, causing her dinner guests to break into a sweat -- and ask for more.When heat-loving Tony Winders entered her life, he began adding the spicy blend to prepared foods such as pizza. It was no longer necessary to smother the cheesy slices with a thick coat of crushed red pepper. Carmen's magical spicy jar delivered just the level of heat he craved with a distinct flavor to complement all kinds of foods. He loved it so much that he wanted to move it beyond Carmen's kitchen counter and share it with the world. And so Fuegorita was born, and now you can enjoy the same fiery, delicious experience in your own kitchen.