XXX-rated crop

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

Some like it hot. Oth­ers nice and spicy. Gor­don (Gord) Pat­ter­son of “Gordz Hot Sauce” fame should know.

Orig­i­nally from Pointe-Claire, he now makes his home in the Dalkeith area where he has been grow­ing his own pep­pers to make his hot sauce and other types of sauces for the past four years with his wife Heather Val­lieres.

When he first cre­ated Gordz Hot Sauce he de­scribes it as a “eureka mo­ment.”

He came up with the idea to make his own sauces from scratch, from seed to sauce, af­ter he couldn’t find any­thing he en­joyed on gro­cery shelves. Ev­ery­thing he sam­pled was ei­ther over-pro­cessed or too heavy on cer­tain in­gre­di­ents.

“I love spicy food and I got very tired of all the com­mer­cial hot sauces that are mostly salt and vine­gar, and lots of chem­i­cals, and de­cided I could do bet­ter,” said the in­trepid con­nois­seur.

Mr. Pat­ter­son also loves to cook, so he put his taste tal­ents to the test in the kitchen and fo­cused on grow­ing his own pep­pers with his wife Heather.

“We be­lieve we are the only seed-to-bot­tle hot sauce com­pany in Canada,” added Mr. Pat­ter­son.

He uses all-nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents for his

sauces that he says im­prove the taste of his prod­ucts. Since start­ing the busi­ness in 2013, he has had con­tin­ued suc­cess.

When he first cre­ated Gordz Hot Sauce Mr. Pat­ter­son had his friends try it and they quickly sang its praises. “It was out by Christ­mas and it kept go­ing and go­ing,” said Mr. Pat­ter­son. “I kept mak­ing more and more. We are ex­pand­ing ev­ery year,” he added.

He has about 18 dif­fer­ent types of sauces and condi­ments but the hot sauce re­mains the most pop­u­lar.

He also makes Salsa, Spicy Red Rel­ish and Spice-Cran­berry sauce. In ad­di­tion to the hot sauce, some of his other sauces in­clude a Smokin’ Chipo­tle, Piri-Piri, and his “XXX” sauce made with “su­per hot pep­pers.”

His sauces can add a lit­tle zip to soups, stews, spaghetti and can be used as a mari­nade.

The prod­ucts are avail­able across Canada al­though the busi­ness’s fo­cus is mainly Ottawa and Mon­treal and all lo­ca­tions in be­tween.

When Mr. Pat­ter­son de­cided to set­tle in this area, he was in­flu­enced by many other en­ter­pris­ing food pro­duc­ers. “We found the house we wanted and a piece of land. We dis­cov­ered af­ter­wards this is re­ally a mecca for fab­u­lous food.”

Pep­per ranch

“We have been grow­ing about 35 dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of pep­pers this year,” he said, adding he and his wife used to grow over 50 types but de­cided to fo­cus on what’s in de­mand. “We’re con­cen­trat­ing on grow­ing more of what we need all the time and much more of the su­per hots,” Mr. Pat­ter­son said. “We grow ev­ery­thing from very mild Hun­gar­i­ans -- all the way to the hottest pep­pers in the world -which are the Carolina Reaper.”

The se­cret to grow­ing pep­pers is to start them early, make sure the crop doesn’t get frost, and re­mem­ber to cover them late in the sea­son.

Mr. Pat­ter­son starts plant­ing pep­per seeds in Jan­uary in his home and sees pep­pers pop­ping up in the field at the end of July for an Oc­to­ber yield.

“Typ­i­cally, Thanks­giv­ing is our big har­vest.”

Some of the hottest are Ghost Pep­pers, Trinidad Scor­pi­ons, and 7-Pot pep­pers -- all ex­tremely hot. “One pep­per is enough to sea­son seven pots,” he said with a laugh.

Mr. Pat­ter­son re­lated while his prod­ucts can’t be con­sid­ered or­ganic since his farm hasn’t been of­fi­cially reg­is­tered un­der this clas­si­fi­ca­tion, they are in­deed all-nat­u­ral. He added the best way to make sure prod­ucts have no pes­ti­cides, her­bi­cides or chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers is to “grow them your­self.”

“When I tell you they are chem­i­cal-free, I know. I think there is a grow­ing move­ment for nat­u­ral food around the world but es­pe­cially in Canada,” he added.

AN­GELA BROWN PHOTO

HOT ‘ N’ SPICY: Dalkeith pep­per rancher Gord Pat­ter­son, with his wife Heather Val­lieres, shows some of the crop that is used to cre­ate his “Gordz Hot Sauce.” His prod­ucts are avail­able in Lan­caster and Fas­sifern and at a va­ri­ety of lo­ca­tions be­tween...

AN­GELA BROWN PHOTO

HEAT IS ON: Cater­ing to the many who love heat, Gordz Hot Sauce is a hit with cus­tomers through­out On­tario and Québec.

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