20110525-finds-0101SAUCED
Our favorite hot sauce from Avery Island has finally caught up to the national obsession with chicken wings. The family-owned Tabasco company’s new Buffalo Style Hot Sauce, thicker than the original pepper sauce — akin in viscosity to A1 — aims for wings, but it’s also a willing accouterment to burgers, barbecue and sandwiches, as well as dipping sauce for fries. Or, dress up the ketchup and K.O. the mayo by adding it to condiments. The blend of spices in Buffalo Style Sauce is subtle and nuanced, and it’s just spicy enough to add some zing — it rates 300 to 900 on the Scoville scale; original Tabasco Pepper Sauce has a Scoville rating of 2,500-5,000 while your standard habañero chili pepper runs about 2 million — without overpowering those mucous membranes. It isn’t widely available right now, but you can order directly from Tabasco — $3.99 for a 5-ounce bottle — at tabasco.com. — Walter Pierce

MON CHERÉ
Cheré Dastugue Coen is nothing if not versatile. An award-winning journalist, writing instructor and author of historical romances, cookbooks and even a guide to making one’s own gris-gris bags, the New Orleans-born Lafayette writer wears many literary hats. Her latest effort, Exploring Cajun Country: A Tour of Historic Acadiana, offers an insightful sally along the bayous, byways and back roads of a region that has more culture and tradition in its pinky than most parts of the country can manage head-to-toe. While Coen’s tome may serve as a tour guide for outsiders, offering a trove of information on everything from foodways to folk tales, it’s also a great resource for natives looking to expand their personal catalogue of sights to see in their own backyard. Exploring Cajun Country: A Tour of Historic Acadiana is available at local bookstores and through The History Press, www.HistoryPress.net, for $19.99. Coen will be at Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. June 11 for a book signing. — WP

RAD TRAD
An original frere in Les Freres Michot and acolyte at the altar of bare, obscure, acoustic Cajun music, Bobby Michot is back from the blue with a brand new record, Gone Back, that celebrates the austere waltzes and two steps of his cultural roots. Recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Lafayette guitarist Shelton Skerrett, with additional mixing/engineering by Al Berard, Michot’s 12-song effort mines the droning, whining fiddles and accordions of Cajun music’s most distant past. Most of these songs are identified in the liner notes as “trad,” or traditional, meaning they go so far back the composer is unknown and they belong to a public domain deep within the bosom of Cajun music. Anyone can perform and record them, and Michot does so with an obvious and tender devotion. Gone Back is available for $15 at Johnson’s Boucanniere, Barnes & Noble, McGee’s Landing and other local merchants. — WP

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