Originally Published on 01/16/2018
On Jan. 11, 2018 The Karma Sauce Company became the first Finger Lakes-based hot sauce company to have one of its sauces featured on popular YouTube series Hot Ones. Extreme Karma Sauce®, one of the signature sauces from the Karma Sauce® product line, enters the online show’s lineup of hot and spicy sauces in its fifth season premiering on Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. EST. Hot Ones published the episode announcing the season’s 10-sauce lineup on Jan. 11 and placed Extreme Karma Sauce® in the sixth-hottest sauce spot.
Hot Ones, owned by Complex Media and produced by the online food, beverage, and culture magazine First We Feast, is a web series featuring celebrities answering interview questions from host Sean Evans while eating spicy chicken wings. As interview questions roll on, the wings become intensively hotter. The show could be a considered an exercise in humility: storytelling and spicy food combine for moments of real candor from celebrities usually considered out-of-reach to the average person. Rarely do the show’s famous guests make it through the entirety of the lineup without some sort of visceral reaction, usually displaying visible signs of discomfort like running noses and watery eyes, and freely lamenting expletives in remorse of their decisions to come on the show.
Guests (or victims, depending on your outlook) have included musicians, comedians, rappers, models, actors, professional athletes, and other culturally-relevant personalities such as Henry Rollins, Wanda Sykes, Terry Crews, DJ Snake, Key & Peele, Artie Lange, and even astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Since the first webisode was published in May 2015, Hot Ones has accumulated approximately 2.4 million
channel subscribers, while the 24 episodes in season four attracted more than 61 million cumulative views. According to host Sean Evans in season five’s reveal episode, this season’s lineup “…is pound for pound the hottest in Hot Ones history; the most Scovilles on the table.”
Extreme Karma Sauce® was hand-picked for the show by HEATONIST, the Brooklyn-based purveyor of independent, small-batch hot sauce brands and official sauce curator of Hot Ones. Over the last few years, The Karma Sauce Company’s founder/owner Gene Olczak has built a relationship with HEATONIST co-owners Tyler McKusick and Noah Chaimberg. “I think HEATONIST liked Extreme Karma Sauce® for the show because it’s a good step up in heat, it bends towards the extreme levels but is balanced by the squash and sweet potato,” says Olczak. “The philosophy of how the sauce is made, from scratch with ingredients we mostly grow ourselves and in small batches, is very much in line with HEATONIST’s own ethos,” he says. HEATONIST is dually excited about Extreme Karma Sauce® being on the show, “We are all very pumped! I think it’s going to blow a lot of minds to see your sauce (Extreme Karma Sauce®) up there,” said Noah Chaimberg.