What You Need to Know About Fiery Foods

If you live and die by fire, skip this. But if you live in Albuquerque and have not been to the National Fiery Foods and BBQ Show, which hits Sandia resort this weekend, I have one syllable of advice for you: GO.

 

A few tips from a long-time attendee (missing maybe 3 of the past 17 years?):

  • Go Early, Go Late. The crowds can be intimidating. Yes, any time of day, you will leave with your tongue on fire and your belly full of dozens of samples. But if you want to maximize your time and avoid lines, get there half an hour before opening or go two hours before close. If you hate crowds, Sunday late afternoon is the sweet spot.
  • Pace Yourself. The trend for years was super hot, then for a few it was sweet. Not sure what it will be this year, but enough cumulative Scoville units in your life systems can do crazy things. I was married once, and we almost called the ambulance once. Seriously.
  • Eat First, Buy Later. You'll taste samples that blow you away; others that leave you meh. Give the 250+ exhibitors, many of them family-owned businesses, a chance before you commit to a purchase. Instead of buying on the spot, mentally flag those five or so booths that knocked you out -- and then write it down. There is so much good salsa that you'll lose track. Then go back and buy the goods on your way out. This way, you get a full flavor of what's available, and you have less crap to lug around for a couple of hours.
  • Sunday Closing Bonus! All of the vendors, most of whom give free samples, are looking to increase awareness and move product. By product, I mean the boxes of jars they each bring or ship to the show. Buying any time during the show is smart, but if you're looking to stock your shelves, go the last few hours on Sunday. Amazing deals. Last year at Sunday close, I got got some seriously good salsa for $2 a jar.
  • Arrange Childcare. This is a fun place for an adult group, a date or even solo surfing (an expert technique for those who want to maximize Scoville intake per hour). It is very tough to get a stroller through the crowd. And in my experience, young kids are likely to be very bored. 

Got other tips? Disagree? Either way, have fun and be safe! Thanks for the read. db

Views: 23

Comment by Amy on March 3, 2011 at 10:52am
The ice cream from the booth manned by TJ Trout & crew really, really helps cool the tongue. It's pretty much necessary.
Comment by DCMc on March 3, 2011 at 11:34am
What a great event this is. Thanks for the reminder that it takes place this weekend. Honey also helps the burning tongue.
Comment by Rich Boucher on March 3, 2011 at 12:02pm
Thank you for this!
Comment by Mi3ke on March 3, 2011 at 12:59pm

  For pets sake DO NOT take your kid in a stroller.  The floors are so crowded that we reallly don't need you blocking the already clogged aisle with a kid who isn't even going to buy anything.  And the ice cream tip is right on.

 

Cheers, Mi3ke

Comment by Debby S on March 4, 2011 at 6:16am
I wish it were back at the convention center... but I save $15 by not worrying about how to get to the casino and use that money to buy local products at local stores or, in June, at growers markets.
Comment by killbox on March 4, 2011 at 9:01am
Arrange Childcare. This is a fun place for an adult group, a date or even solo surfing (an expert technique for those who want to maximize Scoville intake per hour). It is very tough to get a stroller through the crowd. And in my experience, young kids are likely to be very bored.
I absolutely agree, last year it was chaos, much of the pedestrian flow and moving from vendor to vendor was blocked by strollers, causing complete traffic jams i noticed multiple times!
Comment by Andrea Lin on March 7, 2011 at 8:57am
So how was the stroller-jam this year?  Better?
Comment by killbox on March 7, 2011 at 10:25am
It was a little,  still pretty crowded, but i think attendance was down a bit.

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