Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Writer all heated up by awards.(Food)

Byline: Polly Summar Journal Staff Writer

"It's a big responsibility," said Mary Jane Wilan. "You could make or break some of these small businesses."

Wilan, who produces the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show with her husband, Dave DeWitt, was talking about the Scovie Awards, given to the best of the bunch in categories that range from salsas and barbecue sauces to hot sauces and jellies. This year's Scovies will be announced in mid-October.

The Scovie Awards are named after Wilbur Scoville, who developed the heat scale for testing products in 1912, and are sponsored by Sunbelt Shows and Fiery Foods & Barbecue Business Magazine.

I decided to accept Wilan's challenge and be one of some 45 judges last week, testing more than 400 products from around the country. The judges convened at Robb's Ribbs Restaurant and included personalities throughout Albuquerque, from Leo Nunez, owner of El Norteno, to Rajul and Ajay Gupta, owners of India Kitchen, and a large contingent from Bueno Foods. …

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