Local Producer Spotlight: Lost Capital Foods
November in Minnesota marks the unofficial beginning of a grey, cold, what some might call “dreary” winter season.
What combats the grey sky, snowy ground, and 4:30 sunset?
Warm your body and taste buds from the inside with fermented, vegan, raw pepper hot sauce created from local ingredients!
One of Valley Natural Foods’ newest hot sauce producers, Lost Capital Foods, is quickly becoming a new favorite among our team members.
Based in Falcon Heights, the small but mighty team behind Lost Capital creates their line of hot sauce using as much local produce as possible specifically because they know it’s better for their consumers and the local economy.
There isn’t just one thing that makes Lost Capital stand out from the rest.
Lost Capital might sound more like an indie band’s newest album as they stick it to “the man” but when it comes to hot sauce, it takes on a new meaning. Lost Capital Foods focuses on chasing your dream and following your passions – even when your bank account (and gut instinct) tell you not to. To co-founders Dj and Anastasia, it’s about caring more about the quality of their product, rather than the profit margin – as they state in the third sentence on the homepage on their website! While most might think founding a company when you’re over your head in student loans, DJ and Anastasia look at it as a challenge. Their focus is on creating a product to benefit their consumers and their agricultural community! According to Lost Capital, they create hot sauce in small batches, made by hand with a “total disregard for our financial stability.”
Lost Capital’s approach to hot sauce is different than most; it’s a two-step process. The natural ingredients are fermented and blended. That’s it! Three sauces do feature a couple of extra ingredients to promote a deeper flavor profile (minimal caramelized onions and roasted garlic), but most of their line up is fermented, blended, and bottled. They also boast more peppers per bottle, with less water and vinegar than the competition.
Fermented products feature probiotics and Lost Capital hot sauce is no different. Consumers benefit from the same probiotic cultures that the peppers do. Full of live lactobacillus cultures, these hot sauce are fermented for weeks rather than made and cooked on the same day. This results in a hot sauce that’s refrigerated from the beginning, not just after opening. Refrigeration from the start promotes a better taste, preserves the live cultures, and extends the life of the sauce!
Vegan & Gluten-Free!
Except for a handful of sauces that contain honey*, Lost Capital hot sauces are 100% vegan. They’re all gluten-free and feature pepper-forward flavors, marked by a pepper-rating system to determine the level of heat. Two-peppers is considered to be medium-heat, while five-peppers is “vicious” – proceed with caution (especially if your palette aligns with the stereotypical Minnesotan).
One of the first things you might notice about Lost Capital hot sauces are the labels. These are your run-of-the-mill hot sauce labels. Similar to many craft beer labels, each hot sauce has its own design and style. The attention-grabbing illustrations and bold sauce names seem to be a perfect match!
If you’re looking to warm up this winter, or simply add a new flavor to your arsenal of hot sauces, Lost Capital worth trying. Pick up a 6oz bottle at Valley Natural Foods for $8.99 in the fermented foods refrigerated section.
*The sauces listed here contain honey and are not vegan: Gold Digger, Another Bad Investment, Economics Coarse, Bailout