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Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival (photo by Will van Overbeek)

Texas is serious about hot sauce. Whether you prefer your drops to be infused with serrano, habanero, or jalapeño; on the sweeter side; or slap-your-mama spicy, celebrate your love of the sauce this August at the annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. This month marks the 28th year for the drool-worthy event, which will once again be held at Fiesta Gardens in east Austin. The fest serves as a major fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank, having provided more than 765,000 meals for the organization over the years. As usual, it will be a hot day for hot sauce, but cold brews will be available for purchase to cool you off—and to give your mouth a break. Enjoy live music all day plus plenty of local food vendors. But the main event is definitely the blind tasting, where top chefs, food writers, and notable personalities try out sauces from individuals, restaurants, and commercial bottlers. Some festival alumni in the individual category have even gone on to start commercial bottling businesses. Brave festivalgoers can head to the pavilion in the center of the gardens for the public tasting.

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