I have a great family. As a for instance, my brother, bless his heart, gave me a gift for Hanukwanzmastide this year, despite the fact that we’d agreed not to give each other anything. And it wasn’t even to make me feel guilty.
No, what he gave me was a bottle of Besito Caliente. You’ve likely never heard of it, but trust me, you want it. Born and bottled at the Truck Farm in New Mexico, Besito Caliente is a unique and quite remarkable blend of blackberries and habanero.
I’ll let you read those last words again. I didn’t mistype them.
I first came across this delightful sauce this past summer, at my brother’s house. He didn’t tell me what it was at first. Instead he spoke of how they’d wandered into a small town store in southern New Mexico on a recent trip down that way, and how they’d tried this wondrous stuff and had to buy some. Then, with a proud smile upon his face, he poured a bit of the syrupy goodness on some vanilla ice cream and let me take a nibble.
Delightful. I know I’ve already used the word, but there’s no better one in my dictionary for the experience of Besito Caliente. The blackberries are smooth and perfectly tangy. For a heartbeat or two the taste of them lingers upon the tongue, a sweet dance of sensory pleasure. And then, just as your brain sighs in satisfaction, “Ah, yes, that was good,” the tickling buzz of habanero rolls back across your palate. Not a true burn at all, despite what you might think. It’s instead a sort of muted shiver that reignites the senses and leaves even the most hard-hearted taster smiling with wonderment.
And that’s just the first bite.
I loved the stuff (obviously). And when I was asked some months later what I wanted for the Holidays this year I said, “Peace on Earth, good will toward men … and Besito Caliente.” My brother — may he be praised! — somehow got wind of this and acquired a bottle for me.
It was everything I remembered. And it’s not just good on ice cream. Pancakes? Yep. Waffles? Oh, yes.
Tonight I even found another Besito Caliente treat for my tastebuds. Hot Kiss Margaritas:
1.5 oz. tequila
.5 oz. Besito Caliente Sauce
2 oz. sweet & sour mix
.5 oz. fresh lime juice
.5 oz. Cointreau
Since I’ll obviously be continuing to hit the sauce, my only problem now is that I’m already running low on our one bottle. At this rate I’ll have a bottle-per-month habit, and it’s a long way to the Truck Farm!