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Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Fri/First Batch of Product Arrived

If you are reading this, you have successfully navigated Miz Mon and Terrible Tues, scraped through the painful middle of the week, and now finally have reached Freaky Fri! So good work on that (unless you got banged up last night at the bar lamenting the painful FSU loss, and now are hating yourself). Friday means it is now Halloween weekend, which is the second most important thing in October. All year I had plans to either be Toad from Super Mario, or a Sour Patch Kid. Paralyzed by indecision, I have reached Fri with no progress or costume. As a result (and lack any creative abilities), I'm going to try a last ditch run to a costume store this evening. And if it doesn't work, I may be forced to go as a bloody cannibal with JD. (Picture to come later, I assure you it is the most terrifying costume ever. People ACTUALLY will not talk to me once said costume is donned.) It is unclear whether CA will want to join us or not, smart $$$ says no.

But anyway, as mentioned in a previous post, the most important thing about October is that it is Hot Sauce Month. I ordered 16 new sauces, and the first shipment of ten sauces came last week.

The GOODS have arrived

I ordered these ten sauces from Original Juan Specialty Foods. I had previously had the 95% pain, and my sister and her fiancee (little mikey) were real bullish on the garlic style sauce. So I elected to buy basically the whole suite of hot and extra hot sauces available on the website. Coming in at over $50 made me eligible for free shipping. What is kind of hilarious about this strategy is that 1) by offering free shipping for orders over $50 DEFINITELY made me order a couple more sauces than I normally would have. +$10 to the company. 2) the rocket-scientists @ Original Juan's did not specify WHAT KIND OF SHIPPING would be free. So like any opportunistic American, I ordered over-night air-freight delivery. -$45 to the company. So all in, the company lost about $35 on me with their stupidly designed promotion.

But anyway, onto the sauces. JD and I tested every sauce utilizing the "3 drops on a chip, clean the palate with a swig of water, move onto the next one" technique.

The Testing Station

Overall, the results were satisfactory. My takeaways would be that:
1) None of them were overly spicy. The X-treme, Habanero, and Pain 100% were the hottest. They probably were in the 20-30k range, which fills a nice void in my collection.
2) The sauce quality (with the exception of the Spur Tree Scotch Bonnet sauce which was yellow crap) was quite high; full body with chunks of ingredients. A big step up from the runny and thin gruel-like sauces you sometimes see.
3) The pain 95% sauce really is incredible. The sweet pineapple flavor is an amazing complement to the heat, I'd highly recommend this one.
4) Da Bomb Ghost pepper was my other favorite. It is only 1/5th as spicy as its Da Bomb brothers (it is loaded up with other ingredients to reduce the heat, as the ghosts are the hottest peppers in the world), but it has none of their grim flavor. This is my first time hitting up a ghost pepper sauce, and this sauce certainly was a training wheels experience. It has inspired me to get a real Ghost Pepper sauce, most likely will be picking up the Mad Dog 357 Ghost to get a little more feel of the actual heat.

Next week, the last six of my order should come. These are the hotter sauces (more like 75-95k), so I am expecting some fireworks followed by JD waterworks.

Have a great Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taco Bell Burrito Analysis

One of the perks of my job is I get to play with numbers and put together spreadsheets. However unlike a green investment banking analyst where the final answer is already known and the intrepid Wharton grad just needs to create a model that justifies the arbitrary (and inflated) equity value that his boss gave him, my spreadsheets are optimally intended to actually solve for something unknown. So in that vein of trying to determine something unclear to the world, I decided to tackle a complex problem that seems to be plaguing Taco Bell customers across the globe.

Question: Is it more cost effective to buy a Five Layer Burrito or a Seven Layer Burrito?

The Cast of Characters

Five Layer Burrito, $0.99

Seven Layer Burrito, $2.19

In order to properly assess the value, I look at both cost per layer, as well as cost per calorie.

Tabulated Results are as follows (CLICK ON THE GRAPH TO SEE RESULTS):


From a Cost/Layer standpoint, the 5 Layer at $0.99 comes in at a respectable 20cents per layer. (PLEASE EXCUSE THE ROUNDING ERROR). The 7 Layer at $2.19 comes in at a less respectable 31cents per layer, or is 1.6x as expensive. Alternatively, if you assume that the first five layers are priced at parity with the 5 layer, then the cost of the remaining two layers balloons to 60cents, or 3.0x as expensive.

WTF is in these extra layers, Calories?

Well that is a great question, and brings us to part two of the analysis; cost/calorie. The 5 Layer clocks in at 550 calories, while the 7 layer tips the scale at a weak 510 calories. Based on a cost/calorie standpoint, the 7 layer is 2.4x as expensive.

Conclusion: Anyone that orders a 7 layer is an idiot; DON'T DO IT.

P.S. While a poor comp (i.e. does not follow the standard format of =CONCATENATE("#"," Layer"," Burrito")), I also looked at the Bean Burrito. Assuming it is a 1 Layer burrito, the bean burrito costs 5x as much as the 5 Layer on a cost/layer basis, and costs 1.5x as much on a cost/cal basis. Considering that the ingredients of a bean burrito are included in both the 5 and 7 layer (refresher on implications of this), you'd REALLY have to be dumb to order one of these.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The October Orders Are IN

I got back late last night from a weekend trip to SF. (Note to readers that would like to avoid looking like n00bs, do not call it San Fran. According to PH, this totally red-flags you as a non-local. Either SF, or San Francisco.) Highlights include the DeadMau5 show, Lombardi's sports store, riding the Ferris wheel, and sneaking into the VIP section at TI. Lowlights include the weather (so far SF has a 100% crappy weather hit rate during my visits, I'm going to give it one more chance then that's it), SL offering me a ride to the airport and then getting a flat-tire; forcing us to take a cab (which of course only took cash, and he "regrettably" had none), and the undercooked burgers at Perrys. Mixed Reactions to the "shot of the city", Fernet. (though interested to learn that 25% of US consumption occurs in SF annually) +1 for tasting like Jaeger, -1 for tasting like Jaeger mixed with mouthwash.

Anyway moving on to more important things, after a couple weeks of research, I finally pulled the trigger this morning on my hot sauce order. Utilizing a combination of promo codes and daily/weekly online deals, I managed to procure 16 sauces for a blended ASP (including shipping) of around $6 each. I'm feeling pretty good about the selection. With the exception of Mad Dog 357, the sauces are in the mid/low range I'd say, which should help make my collection a little more accessible to plebeians.

In 5-7 business days, I shall be receiving the below loot, reviews to follow:

Mad Dog 357

Widow Hot Sauce

Mad Dog Inferno

You Can’t Handle this Sauce

Liquid Stoopid

The Beast

Batch 114 Jamaican Style Hot Sauce

Batch 37 Garlic Style Hot Sauce

Bite Me Roasted Garlic Chipotle Hot Sauce

Da' Bomb Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce

Pain 100% Hot Sauce

Pain 95% Hot Sauce

Pain 85% Hot Sauce

XTREME Hot Sauce

Spur Tree Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce

Pain Is Good Habanero Hot Sauce

Monday, October 4, 2010

October=Hot Sauce Month

Recent lunch trips to Firehouse Subs and Buffalo Wild Wings (and the associated trying of 20+ different sauces) have led me to proclaim that OCTOBER (Ex-Halloween, a dull and unimportant month in the grand scheme of things) is officially hot sauce month. So time to beef up your collections, try some new sauces, burn your roommate, etc

My hot sauce quiver currently has two holes that I need to fill.

1) It is really lacking in the mid-range (60-90k) sauces.

2) I need some high-end fire-power that is not BLAIR's.

I'm currently thinking some mad dog inferno/liquid stoopid and some of the lower Ca Johns to fill slot one.

Slot two, thinking a mad dag 357, Widow, and a Vicious Viper

Two other awesome sauces that JD found are Gator Hammock and Pain 95%. Not going to hurt anyone (other than ZS), but they have absurdly good flavor. The scorned women sauce is also pretty good. Those will likely be an OCT event as well, might see if I can get JD to pony up (though first he needs to procure an Xbox/Halo:Reach....)

Worst sauce I tried while at Firehouse: FSU Seminoles Hot Sauce! (sorry CA)

In addition to the purchased sauces, it also is time to break out the food processor that has been sitting and gathering dust in my front hall.

I will be doing my purchasing from this website: