Tag Archives: St. John USVI

Food: Blind Betty’s Hot Sauce

Blind Betty's comes in Original Recipe, Pineapple Pizzazz, and Blind in the Rind flavors. Uploaded by weddingbeepro.com.

Blind Betty’s is certainly hot enough, but it’s not going to kill brain cells in the process, as some other sauces will. It definitely adds a potent zing, but doesn’t overpower the flavor of food.

St. John Spice in Cruz Bay, St. John. Uploaded by cruzbayrestaurants.com.

We discovered Blind Betty’s where it’s made, on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. On our first visit we stopped in at a great shop right at the ferry dock, called St. John Spice. We wanted to take something from the island home with us, and I remembered that store owner Ruth Ernst had featured Blind Betty’s on her Web site. We purchased the Original Recipe sauce, along with Jalapeno Pepper Jelly and Hot Mango Chutney. We’ve gone through them all, and it’s time to reorder!

In addition to the Original Recipe, the sauce is also available in Blind in the Rind and Pineapple Pizzazz flavors. What’s in the stuff? Ingredients include pumpkin, apple juice, tomato juice, carrot, onion, habanero pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and garlic.

Uploaded by stjohntour.com.

Blind Betty’s was the first-place winner of the Fiery Food Challenge in 2003 and the international Scovie Awards in 2004. A couple of reviews at Hot Sauce World echo what my wife, the main partaker of hot sauces in our household, says about Blind Betty’s. Dave said, “This stuff is too good to tell people about, the price will go up.” And Clark said, “This is the best hot sauce I’ve ever had the pleasure of adding to a meal.”

Here’s a video in which St. John Spice owner Ruth Ernst explains where Blind Betty’s comes from:

Travel: Myrtle Beach

It's called the Grand Strand, and you can see why. Uploaded by threebestbeaches.com.

It's called the Grand Strand, and you can see why. Uploaded by threebestbeaches.com.

In my unfinished novel, I describe Myrtle Beach as “the painted harlequin of the Southeast coast.” I like that. That’s how it feels to me.

Some beaches you go to for the unspoiled scenery. Ocracoke, for example. Some you go to for the “scene.” Like South Beach in Miami. You go to Myrtle Beach for the “stuff.” Adults tend to prefer the quieter beaches, the places where the world seems far away. But kids want things to do, and boy oh boy, does Myrtle Beach have that.

Golf, golf, and more golf at Myrtle Beach. Uploaded by worldgolf.com.

Golf, golf, and more golf at Myrtle Beach. Uploaded by worldgolf.com.

Dads can get away to one of the 16,822 golf courses in the area (I estimated, might be a tad high). Moms and daughters can go to the outlet malls. There’s a beach store on every corner. Maybe there’s another place in the world with more miniature golf courses per capita, but you’d have to prove it to me. Did I forget anything?

Oh, yeah – the beach. It’s broad, and well kept, and looks beautiful from the twelfth floor of your condominium. At least it does from ours. Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach (they know the difference, you won’t) is a condo/hotel place. Not many beach homes to rent. Not at prices Joe Sixpack can afford, at least.

One thing Myrtle Beach has going for it, even if all the aforementioned “stuff” isn’t your thing, and that’s restaurants. Not fine dining palaces serving remoulade of this and confit of that. But lots of family-friendly and budget-safe choices that are quite good. Particularly if you like lightly breaded seafood, called “Calabash” style down there. But then, that’s another post.

For powdery white sand and that unbelievably aqua water, go to Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos or St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Great American Things No. 31). But for a family beach with lots to do, you have a harlequin waiting for you in South Carolina.