Bonfire Night: Guy Fawkes Day

Guy Fawkes, a 1605 vigilante who embraced the anarchist approach to protesting when he attempted to assassinate Protestant King James I with a plot to blow up Parliament, known as The Gunpowder Plot. The plot was foiled by authorities on Nov 5th, 1605 when his gunpowder stash of explosives hidden in the Parliament cellar was discovered.

The mask depicting his likeness (as seen in this post) has become an iconic symbol in movements like "Occupy Wall Street" and the movie "V" for Vendetta, and is commonly used by the hacktivist group "Anonymous."

Whether you agree with such political strategies or not is not the purpose of this post, but rather to find a PepperFuzion blend that speaks to the nature of this event. 

To do this, we're going to capitalize on the name of the scheme: Gunpowder Plot.

Gunpowder is a highly explosive substance because of how fast it burns. I recall the outcome of two kids in our town in Prescott Arizona who were messing around with gunpowder in their downstairs bedroom. One of them, the son of a locally renowned Veterinarian, owner of a beautiful A-frame home nestled in the landscape of this mile high city. And the other boy, his neighbor across the street.  

Their intention was to build a "firecracker" using HERCULES Fast-burning gun powder. Having "acquired" a canister of gun powder used for reloading bullets in one of their dad's pistols, they proceeded to construct a firework. I know the story second-hand, as if I had been there would probably not be here today writing this story, but as I recall they were using the cardboard portion of a toilet paper roll as their firework canister and a fuse they had pilfered from a real production firecracker. 

Not sure about every step of the process that led to the disaster which ensued, but it began with them putting some of the gunpowder into the TP canister and trying to light it. They attempted this several times but to no avail. Between each attempt to light it, as any youthful mind would surmise, they added more gunpowder assuming a lack of fuel was the reason it wasn't igniting. At some point, the concept of a fuse must have come into play, and the rest was history but not before they had amassed what was reported after the blast to have been the equivalent of a 1/4 stick of dynamite. 

Hovered over their creation in the basement bedroom of a custom-built 40 foot high A-frame house, two stories down the oldest of them was directly over the bomb, the other bent over his back peering down from his shoulder. Like brothers these two were and their bond close.

Until the gunpowder ignited. 

Actual A-Frame house not shown here...

A tour of the home was always accompanied with an explanation of the remodel required to fix the damage. A hole had been blown in the roof and the area around the blast decimated. The story was conveyed to me by a teenager, so some exaggeration may have been applied but what was real and evident to my own eyes were the four footprints closely situated to each other, pointing in the same direction, that had been burned into the tight-knitted carpet in his bedroom. In my mind, those footprints depicted the story in all its potential. The 3rd degree burns across 80% of my friend's body depicted the rest of the story. 

A series of surgeries and a long recovery time allowed him to regain his life but not without the dreaded reminder of how dangerous and powerful gunpowder really is. 

The terrorist attacks we've seen on the news, from the bombing of "The USS Cole" which took 17 lives and injured 39 more when a suicide bomber ripped a hole in the side of an American battleship, to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, demonstrate the explosive impact dynamite and gunpowder can have on a radical ideal.

What might be a more powerful way to affect change without the bloodshed and destruction of an explosive? Might it be a life-long dedication to change through the pen? Or maybe by becoming a member of the political process to affect change from the inside?

Whatever the solution, we must admit that explosives are a powerful way to get attention and cause destruction. So how does such a horrific impact translate to the goodness of a peppercorn blend? Simple, the explosive red hot taste of a White Peppercorn, Chipotle, and Garlic!   

White peppercorn is a black peppercorn with the outer skin removed through processing, leaving it with a noticeably more significant bite.

I like to think of the white peppercorn as this blend's gunpowder. It's the primary spice that gives it its kick. The Chipotle on the other hand is its housing. That kick is housed in a roasted jalapeno, (which is what a chipotle is,) giving it a fiery aroma like the dynamic labeling of a firework. 

Finally the fuse extends from within as a garlic catalyst, pulling together the chipotle and white pepper just long enough to ignite a hidden flavor between them, one that ruptures the senses with an indescribable explosion of flavor. 

Great as a steak rub, a Bloody Mary topping, or a way to ignite the tamest of omelettes.
This blend has potential, as long as it doesn't get caught! 

Featured Blend (Click label to purchase)


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