Co-op Hot Sauce, a mole negro-based tongue-burner made by youth arts organization Co-op Image, has had loyal fans across town for the past five years.
Mike Bancroft, the Co-op's founder and hot-sauce doctor, followed up on the original with an extra-hot, neon-orange carrot-habañero sauce and a lightly spicy jalepeño sauce that's made with chiles grown at Co-op's kid-run Westside gardens.
And this market season, we've got two new sources for spice: Mr. Mike's Random Rub and Co-op White Barbecue. The rub blends dried thyme from Co-op's gardens with dried ancho chiles and a host of bold spices. Try it on grill-bound chicken thighs or eggplant, stirred into sauces and sprinkled on popcorn (Bancroft sings its praises as a rub for whole suckling pig, too).
The mayonnaise-based White Barbecue sauce isn't well known outside of Northern Alabama, but the Co-op's new version of the condiment, made tart and hot with lime juice, vinegar and a dash of the homegrown hot sauce, might make it just as famous here.
If you're shopping at Logan Square, here's a tip: A sprinkle of the Co-op spice--in dry or liquid form--helps upgrade nearby vendor Cherubs' new taco offerings from decent to delicious.