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Not far from the equator is a secret island known to very few. For generations, the people of the island lived simple, happy lives. Their island was a paradise, lush with tropical fruits, wild game and streams of fresh sparkling water.
One man was known for his extraordinary gift to the island’s people, a simple grower among them named Juan. Juan’s love, his purpose in life, was his peppers. In the rich soil, kissed by the tropical sun, Juan grew peppers unlike any on earth. He grew them with love and the island’s people treasured Juan’s peppers feasting on them night after night. His kettle-cooked creations were cooked in small batches, emphasizing the big flavor of his hand-crafted, culinary artistry.
One day an evil pirate’s ship sailed onto the beaches of the island. The pirate relished the richness of the island and saw a safe haven for him and his crew. The people would be his servants and he the master of their island. He realized he needed to remove the source of the people’s contentment, Juan’s peppers. He dispatched a band of men and burned the fields that Juan had so lovingly cultivated. With the smoke of the fire still in the air, the people despaired and saw Juan die of a broken heart. With no hope of ever feasting again, they gave in to the evil pirate.
However, one man was not willing to live without Juan’s peppers. Juan’s son had grown up watching his father’s expert touch as he tended the fields. He had a secret cache of seeds that his father had nurtured. As he watched the island’s people do the pirate’s bidding, he planned to leave and find a place in the sun where he could grow his father’s wondrous seeds.
He waited until the right moment and stowed away on one of the pirate’s ships. After weeks of sailing, the ship reached port where Juan’s son could hear his father’s voice telling him this was where he should disembark. He made his way to shore and headed inland. After many weeks of walking he crested a ridge and saw before him the place. He could smell the richness of the soil as he watched the morning sun kiss the fertile fields. It would be here that the original Juan’s peppers would be planted.
And so, for generations, the son of the original Juan and his descendants grew the perfect peppers. They were always afraid to reveal their goodness for fear that evil would once again try to destroy them. They grew them for one reason only — their love of the original Juan.
That was soon to change as a group of intrepid explorers embarked on a quest for the perfect pepper. They had heard the legend of Juan’s perfect pepper — stories of fruits and vegetables blended together, laced with Juan’s peppers. There were stories of great feasts that left the revelers burning with delight, living in perfect contentment with Juan’s peppers.
The explorers dreamed of all the wonderful things they could make with such a pepper. Sauces, dips, dressings, snacks and rubs, food that no one had ever imagined married to the wonders of heat. They dreamed of food that would bring happiness to the people. Their dreams became reality the day they heard a voice speak to them from a field.
They followed that voice, and like the young man generations earlier, they came upon the ridge and saw before them fields rich with peppers ripening in the sun. Their hearts filled with joy, and they ran with great abandonment among the peppers, until they met one of the many descendants of Juan. They told him of their quest and the voice that led them to those fields.
They told of the legends and their plans to bring contentment to all the people of the world with the perfect blend of Juan’s peppers – one small kettle at a time. The sons of the son of Juan were happy. At last they could share Original Juan’s love and passion for kettle-cooked creations packed with intricate flavor and complex heat with the world!
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