SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - The self-proclaimed king of fire is in East Tennessee. The Pepper Palace makes hundreds of hot sauces, salsas and rubs.
From de-stemming the peppers, to stirring the sauce, to attaching every label by hand, more than 200 Pepper Palace products are made right in our backyard.
"Everybody loves made in America," said manager Brian Sells. "And everyone loves that we make our sauces here and are cooking it here."
To be clear, this is not a small mom and pop operation. These products are sold at nearly a dozen store across the country and online.
Sells tells the owner's story like this. "He had a small kiosk with a few sauces on it. He came down to Gatlinburg and loved it. He went into the Mountain Mall and started on a small push cart and now has 12 franchises."
With a name like Pepper Palace, the company is not shy about its love of spice. Sells describes one hot sauce like this. "You put it your mouth and you feel like the top of you head is coming off."
At the same time, "foodies" and daredevils are even making one of their products, dubbed the hottest horseradish in the world, a sensation on YouTube.
When you search for "Nasal Napalm" on the site, you'll find dozens of links to people trying to eat the extremely hot horseradish.
The workers at Pepper Palace even egged me on and I tried some, too. What a kick!
You can try any of their products by going to one of their locations. They have two in the Gatlinburg area.
Ronda Hickey describes their customers like this. "They are looking for the hottest sauce. They think they are tough. Five minutes later, they are dying."
Outside of all the locally made recipes, take note of the company's labels. They're designed and made by a local artist.