It’s my first time standing in the Lokahi Kitchen, located behind Cafe O Lei on Market Street in Wailuku. Tim Parsons and his wife Summer, the founders of Adoboloco, are carefully bottling their jalapeno hot sauce. They start by making an exclusive amount of a test batch of an unrevealed super spicy version.
“Do you know what a ghost pepper is?” Tim asks me.
“Yep,” I say.
Wearing rubber gloves, Tim gingerly deposits ghost pepper slivers into his original recipe Adoboloco bottles while my mouth waters. Ghost pepper, also known as the bhut jolokia, rates an unbelievable 1,050,000 units on Scoville scale, double the heat of the habanero. It’s considered the hottest pepper in the world.
Now I’m a spicy aficionado, clamoring for ever hotter pangs of pepper on my palate. I desperately want to try this version but I also don’t want to seem overeager, so I hold back. I’m here for the original recipe Adoboloco anyway.
Adoboloco is a homegrown jalapeno hot pepper sauce. Of course, “homegrown” is almost an understatement. The Parsons and their three kids started a garden in Kihei as part of their homeschooling strategy and the jalapeno section really took off. In a push to utilize the prolific growth, Tim played with a hot sauce recipe and ended up making history.
“I started making larger and larger batches and couldn’t keep up with the requests,” Tim says. “At that point I knew it was time to go bigger. Now my immediate family is addicted to it, along with my extended family and friends. Seriously – one bottle will be drained by the end of a meal sometimes.”
Tim originally made the home brewed hot sauce and bottled it in empty whiskey bottles that were lying around. But when his friends and family started requesting their own bottles, he knew he had a hit on his hands. It’s also not the first time Tim has worked on a sauce.
“I had an idea about creating some products under the Adoboloco name,” he says. “The best adobo is pretty easy to cook but it takes a while to really master the flavor balance. So I originally wanted to create a true adobo (Filipino Style) sauce that someone could use for a quick adobo meal. Just cut up your choice of protein or vegetables, throw in the pan, pour on the sauce and have a tasty meal in minutes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the flavors right in the pre-mixed form that would be shelf-stable. So I scrapped the product idea and kept developing other adobo recipes and sharing them on my blog http://recipes.adoboloco.com/.”
The jalapeno sauce has a nice spicy flavor that doesn’t burn too heavy. I like putting it on salads and veggies. I also substitute it as part of the vinegar in my vinaigrette. It’s great on proteins and rice, adding a mouthwatering zing to plate lunch type dining. In fact, it’s completely replaced my love for Hawaiian chili pepper water, especially given that those store bought versions are mostly MSG. Tim says he eats Adoboloco everyday and hasn’t gotten sick in over a year, attributing his health benefits to the chili in the sauce.
You can find Adoboloco at Rodeo General Store in Kihei, Alive and Well in Kahului, Ono Gelato in Lahaina and online at http://recipes.adoboloco.com/. In April they will start selling it at the Swap Meet in Kahului. If you order online from Maui Adoboloco, they’ll reimburse your shipping.
Or you can win a bottle of Adoboloco right here! Just write a comment below (in three sentences or less) on why you should try a bottle of Adoboloco and you’ll be entered to win a free bottle!
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.