The J.H.B.C. of C.C. & S.G.A.

I’d been thinking I might write something about the strange weather we’ve been having here in Vancouver this winter (excessive rain, snow, wind, felled trees, water advisories, and power outages, capped with a stadium collapse), but it’s been a weird season throughout the northern hemisphere, and it seems Vancouver’s story might not be that special. That, and I assume that reading about weather is dead boring.

Instead, I’d like to showcase my love for perhaps the crassest condiment of all: hot sauce.

Main dish or merely piquant highlight, I have enjoyed spicy things since small times. Jalapeños, vindaloos, and wasabi–I counted those and many more as yummy, yummy contributions to my diet. I’m not really certain why. I might be a nontaster. I’m even more likely an addict. It’s only recently, however, that I’ve really consciously recognized my affinity and begun research into it. As well, it’s only recently that I’ve begun to cater to my needs in earnest.

While serving as Michelle’s field assistant in Washington and Montana last summer, I gave in to fancy and began acquiring the first pieces in what has blossomed into the J. Harlen Bretz Collection of Crass Condiments & Sundry Gustatory Anguishes. As we travelled from small town to smaller town, I checked each grocer’s for hot sauces that I’d not seen in Canada. It was a fun distraction, made for more palatable camp meals, and helped to cool me a little when I came to learn what was meant by “more than 100° F in the shade.”

It’s worth noting that, aside from a brief flirtation with philately in my youth, I’ve not really set out to “collect” anything; I’ve just never understand the point of buying things to have.¹ Now, buying things to eat, consequently regret, then gleefully eat again… this is something I can understand. I’m still finding pieces to add to the collection, and I’m looking forward to finding more whenever I travel.

I’ve created a page cataloging each specific sauce, and I’ll be updating it as I find more. In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of a large part of the Collection.

J. Harlan Bretz Collection of Crass Condiments & Sundry Gustatory Anguishes


Further reading
How spicy foods kill cancers [BBC]
Hot Sauce Blog [Some dudes]



1. I don’t collect comic books. I read them, and I further admit to myself and anyone else that they are far less likely to appreciate in value than something from, say… The Franklin Mint.

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5 Comments

Filed under The J.H.B.C. of C.C. & S.G.A., The story so far

5 responses to “The J.H.B.C. of C.C. & S.G.A.

  1. Jusius

    My dad used to have a huge collection of hot sauces, but he got rid of them when he redid his kitchen. I’ll see if he has any lying around and add them to the ever growing care package that I will one day send you.

  2. As its current steward, I’m happy to accept donations on behalf of the J.H.B.C. of C.C. & S.G.A.

    Details and directions for contributions can be found on our dedicated Hot Sauce page.

  3. Hmmmmm. Hot Sauce. Funny you should mention your addiction….on a similar bent, I am trying as many different salsas as possible. Salsa, in my world, goes on everything. It could even be the new tomato base for pizza. So far Safeway deli salsa is best.

    However, feel free to discuss the weather in Van-city. Yes, it’s weird everywhere. But I actually think it might be a little weirder for Vancouver.
    I’m interested. I want to know how global warming is effecting all regions.

    Saskabush seems to be having less sun, less extreme temps, and very little snow. Very dull.

    I might drink tonight. Say hi to the Mitchster. She so rules.

  4. Mmm, hot sauces. I think in your picture I have tried at least a third of them. Come down to visit in Cali and I’ll show you some good hot sauce places! 🙂

  5. I can only imagine the hot sauce heaven you occupy in California, Randy! I was overjoyed with the Mexican restaurants and sauces that I noticed after crossing into just Washington. Further south must be a complete capaiscin nirvana. As if there wasn’t already enough reasons to come see you guys. 🙂

    Speaking of non-sequiturs, whatever does R:tAG stand for, anyway? I’ve been assuming that it was Randy: the Awesome Gamer, but I’ve never thought to ask. Other assumptions are that it is a nod to the World of Darkness games, and that it was likely coined by Jill or Amy. Any of this correct?

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