There used to be five condiments – ketchup, mustard, mayo, horseradish and tabasco sauce. Realizing full well how the spectrum was slightly larger in different places, but where I grew up, in my parents’ house, we had five. Now the world, and the world of condiments, is larger. Now, the world of condiments is so large all you need is something to put a condiment on and the fortitude, patience, and desire to find a way to make it. With a forkfull of scrapple without the right condiment, I demanded the combination of the two right condiments – maple syrup and hot sauce –  and then I made maple hot sauce.

This would not be simply hot sauce with some Ms. Butterworth mixed in. That does not work for me, so I reached to one of the best sources of culinary innovation and inspiration, “Ideas in Food“. I have been making vinegars for a while now, so I adapted their formula (adding bourbon for rum and then using an actual vinegar mother to start the process of fermenting) using some amazing gifted contraband Wisconsin maple syrup. Once the maple concoction had soured, I bottled the vinegar and moved onto fermenting a batch of cherry bomb chilis from my garden.

After a month fermenting these chilis in salt, I added the maple vinegar to steep for a few weeks and then strained it through cheesecloth. The resulting hot sauce was sour and spicy, but with a strong maple sweetness. It was complex enough to stomp over a bottle of hot sauce fortified with maple syrup and absolutely great on the next batch of scrapple.