FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) -- Barry Wood's Chow-Chow Extreme Vegetable Relish won first place in the 2015 World Hot Sauce Competition in the "condiment relish" category.
Award-winning ghost pepper hot sauces and chow-chow relish
"It's a thing that my grandmother used to make when I was a kid and I took her recipe and kind of twisted it and made it my own," said Wood.
Barry uses green tomatoes instead of pickles, and he uses cabbage and onion in his recipe.
This story begins when Barry served on the USS Midway aircraft carrier in the late 1980s. He was stationed out of Japan, but traveled to places such as Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. He tasted hot sauces in each location. When he returned home in 1998 he says he couldn't find anything to match the flavor he grew to love.
"I came to realize an Asian hot sauce always has kind of a sweet background or more flavorful taste to it, where an American hot sauce has a vinegar flavor to it," said Barry.
Eighty tries and two years later he says he perfected his recipe.
"It was a hit. It was exactly what I was looking for. Everyone seemed to love it," said Barry.
It made its big debut in Barry's backyard barbecue. He invited his friends from work and the neighborhood.
"They were telling me, 'You ought to produce this. This would really sell. We'd buy it,'" Barry recalls his friends and neighbors saying.
He wrote the recipe on a napkin and that's where it stayed for for a few months, until "I had the napkin and it got wet," said Barry.
"When I lost that I had to turn around and start at it again. I had an idea, but it had been awhile. It'd been a couple of months and I couldn't exactly remember the balance of everything and it probably took me another year or so to get that balance back out again, but the second time I did it, I did it in ink and I also put in on a hard drive," Barry said.
He developed this second recipe in his kitchen. "It's a cross between American hot sauce and an Asian hot sauce," said Barry.
"I wanted to develop something that enhances flavor and not detracts from it with heat, but actually still gave you a bite or a spike, and I think I hit the nail on the head," Barry said.
His base is carrot juice and clear Karo syrup, not tomatoes and high fructose syrup like many others may use.
"Using the carrot juice I think gave me the ability to have the seasoning flavor come out, which gave it more of that flavor," Barry said.
Little by little he adds more of the ingredients.
"I've got people buying it from here, Texas, New York, I have a consistent customer down in Texas." Barry says he buys a case and a half, which is 18 bottles every month.
"Adding all my liquids first an then turn on the heat to warm things up then I'm going to go ahead and start adding some of my spices."
He crushes oregano to add to the sauce and then adds ghost peppers.
"As you can see that gives it its last bit of red...this is just seasonal mix. I pre-mixed it," Barry said.
KOLO's Noah Bond asked Barry what he puts in the mix. He said with a smile it's his secret and it sets his sauce apart.
His sauce is 31 years in the making. A history of one man's story. His travels in Asia and his love for great hot sauce.
Barry says he has developed a barbecue sauce with a pineapple and apricot back flavor. Right now he's working on getting it into stores and hopes to have it available for sale by this summer.
WHERE YOU CAN BUY BARRY'S PRODUCTS:
Buy Nevada First Gift Shop and Visitors Center
4001 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502
Flag Store Sign & Banner
155 Glendale Ave #9, Sparks, NV 89431
Fallon RV Park Country Store
5787 Reno Hwy, Fallon, NV 89406
Fallon Food Hub
40 E Center St #5, Fallon, NV 89406
Northeastern Nevada Museum
1515 Idaho Street
Elko, Nevada 89801
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