The idea for Tongue Huggers grew from a passion to create, learn, and develop in order to further others’ love for sustainable agriculture and value in local food. Through our handcrafted hot sauce we’re able to create a flavor profile around the heat level and, as we like to say around here, Flavor the Fire. We love knowing where our food comes from and using seasonal ingredients to enhance the culinary experience. We use as many organic and naturally-grown ingredients as possible, while sourcing them from an increasing number of local Michigan farms.
We take inspiration from craft beer brands, specialty sauce brands, and other local businesses like Zingerman’s, which has a reputation for unconventionally effective and sustainable growth strategies. We love these brands because they are so good at giving us more than just a product. They give us meaningful food stories that inspire and motivate us to follow in their footsteps.
Starting around November of 2015, we spent many cold wintery nights experimenting with condiments and expanding on their conventional forms. Soon after finishing a few batches of delicious experimental pesto, we felt inspired to try making our own hot sauce. After feedback from friends, family, and our own taste buds, we saw an opportunity to direct our drive to learn and create while sticking to our roots. This allowed us to grow our idea into something exciting, new, risky, and most importantly, centered around good food. It was as though culinary randomness mixed with our inspirations—craft beer branding and the individuality inherent in the culture of hot sauce—all culminated into a creative driving force which materialized into Tongue Huggers; an equally bizarre and appropriate name for the seed that had just sprouted in our collective minds.
We love what we do because we’re able to combine our educations and passions into a stronger, smarter team of creators. We constantly learn new things from each other as well as from our mentors within the local agricultural field. Our commitment, root passions, and skills collaboratively enhance our belief in what Tongue Huggers is growing into while never forgetting where it all came from. Tongue Huggers is a Michigan-made hot sauce that will always Flavor the Fire.
Haunted Egg Sandwich
1 Large Farm Fresh Egg, Hickory Knoll Farm – Onondaga, MI
2 Slices Toasted Seed Bread, Stone Circle Bakery – Holt, MI
4oz. Spinach Salad Mix, Hillcrest Farm – Lowell, MI
2 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese, Hickory Knoll Farm – Onondaga, MI
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Calder Dairy Farm – Carleton, MI
2 Tbsp Ghost in the Basement, Tongue Huggers LLC – East Lansing, MI
- Heat butter in frying pan on medium heat until melted evenly.
- Crack 1 large farm fresh egg into pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until egg whites start crisping around the edges
- Flip egg in frying pan and turn off the heat. The egg will finish cooking on the opposite side, as the pan is still hot.
- Lightly toast two slices of Toasted Seed bread.
- Place Fried Egg, Spinach Salad Mix, and Pepper Jack Cheese on Toasted Seed bread to create a sandwich.
- Spread 2 Tbsp of Ghost in the Basement hot sauce on sandwich.
- Salt and Pepper to taste, and Enjoy!
Sam Harris and Alex Passanesi are the co-founders of Tongue Huggers LLC and are currently based in East Lansing, MI. Header photo courtesy of Dylan Milkins. Check out their products on their website: www.tonguehuggers.com