Ice cream (and hot sauce) inventions at the Heaven and Hell Takedown

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am actually still alive, still residing in Boston (specifically, Cambridge), and still (occasionally) finding time to venture outside of work and home. My most recent excursion was to the Armory in Somerville this past Sunday afternoon to witness the culinary mash-up that was Heaven and Hell “Takedown”, i.e. Ice Cream and Hot Sauce local competition-slash-tasting. Apparently the Takedowns have been going on for five years, presumably usually benefits some worthy non-profit, and has covered a range of comestibles, including chili, mac ‘n cheese, and bacon. In this particular case combining ice cream and hot sauce cookery (as an event, not in the same dish) was a good idea since a hot sauce competition wouldn’t have quite enough interest to sustain a local event in and of itself and ice cream is an easy draw. I arrived a bit late but had enough time to sample all 9 ice creams (some more than once) before the voting ended, and it was great to see (and taste) all the variety. I have to give a shout out to the brain(s) behind the jelly donut-flavored ice cream which was spot on and got my vote, although the winner, basil and chocolate chips, was also excellent and perfectly balanced. (Still hoping that I see both of those in a store one of these days.) The hot sauces were a little less my thing, but it was fun to try them out; the ones I tried weren’t particularly hot, but then I got hit with a doozy halfway down the line that instantly gave me hiccups and I had to give up and run back to the ice creams. All in all, this was worth the 15 clams, and although I’m less excited about the rumored upcoming cookie Takedown (perhaps I underestimate the potential innovations in the world of cookies), I’ll be keeping my eye out for future Takedowns, especially of the mac ‘n cheese variety.

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