Schug and all things hot

For quite some time I’ve been trying to find some scorching hot hot pepper paste. I’ve found some moderately hot pastes but they all have vinegar in them. I wanted to find some that was really hot, but not vinegary. Several years ago I had some friends from Israel and I remember them talking about schug. It’s a hot paste from Yemen. I didn’t remember schug having vinegar in it.

Well after some fine successful online searching, I discovered Fishman’s market in St. Louis Park. I called and asked them if they carried schug but they had no idea what I was talking about. I decided I needed to take a trip to the market to see if I could find some.

To my everlasting joy, they sell schug, though it was a struggle to find it. I searched the store and didn’t find any. I was going to leave and I decided to give the store one more search. I checked the refrigerated section and there it was — two varieties — red and green. The red is hotter. Both are tasty. That night we made homemade pizza and I coated the crust of my pizza with schug and then piled on a variety of veggies. Wow. It was my best pizza yet.

The pronunciation of schug was a topic of conversation. How do you teach Americans to pronounce the “ch” sound properly? And then add an umlutung “u”, (with the two dots above it) right after the “ch”. It’s a hard word to pronounce. No one other than me can pronounce it properly.

Curt took a little sample of schug and lost his voice for a couple minutes. It’s hot and I love it, but not unbearably hot. And no vinegar.

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