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Love Local: Señor Lechuga – Bushwick’s Spiciest Hot Sauce

Made by hand, in small batches with fresh ingredients, by Nico Lechuga and
a small crew in a shared kitchen in Bushwick, Señor Lechuga hot sauces
aren't for the faint of palette.

A self-taught cook and lover of all things spicy, Nico Discovered the Carolina Reaper and set out to make a hot sauce that has a daring amount of spice that doesn’t overshadow the expression of flavor. His hot sauces piqued the interest of a neighborhood deli owner, who started using his sauces on sandwiches and gained notoriety amongst friends. After creating what is now the .001 variety, Nico was getting so many requests that he and Lauren Cosenza, his wife, decided to go legit.

Nico Lechuga sealing the next batch of .002 for delivery.


Bright red with a wrinkled, twisted texture, the Guiness book of world records dubbed the Carolina reaper the world’s hottest chili in 2013. On the Scoville scale, which measures the pungency of chili peppers and other spicy foods, the Caroline reaper rates an average of 1,569,300 Scoville heat units (while a jalapeño rates an average of 2,500 to 10,000 SHUs). All three of Señor Lechuga’s sauces are made with these piquant peppers, so they pack a punch.

In less than a year, Nico went from creating these hot sauces for friends to a small batch of 24 bottles to hundreds of bottles a month. They’re handmade with fresh ingredients, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and each bottle is labeled by hand with the batch and bottle number.


The Señor Lechuga team prepping batch labels.

If you’re looking for a delicious hot sauce with unabashed heat and balanced flavors, break out a bottle of Señor Lechuga.

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