Shaquanda The Hot Sauce Drag Queen
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Check out Episode 2 of The Makers Podcast to hear the full interview with Andre Springer, the Hot Sauce Drag Queen.
Andre Springer was born in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn where he spent most of his life. His drag persona, Shaquanda, was born in the nightclubs of NYC when Andre was twenty years old.
Drawing on his Barbadian roots, he created his first batch of hot sauce with his little brother for Bushwig, a drag festival that happens once a year in Brooklyn. He wanted to create something that reflected where he grew up and also make people rethink the word “artisanal”, saying “it doesn’t normally involve people from the hood like myself.” He feels Shaquanda brings a nuanced view to how artisanal goods are perceived by confronting gender lines and racial stereotypes, while making one of the best hot sauces on the market.
Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce is unique because it offers a bouquet of different flavors, but still allows you to taste your food. He says, “It's a very big thing with Barbadian hot sauces - you are supposed to taste what you are eating but still enjoy the seduction of the spice.” Barbadian hot sauce traditionally has onions, mustard, turmeric, peppers, salt and pepper, but Andre’s recipe has added in his favorite New York flavor influences like apple cider vinegar and horseradish.
Flavor is important, but it’s also about what the brand represents. He feels that queer-owned businesses – and even more so – black, queer-owned businesses are not represented on the shelf but believes that Shaquanda's Hot Pepper Sauce will help guide the way for other brands.
Since this podcast was recorded, Andre has created three other hot sauce flavors – Mx. Green Sass, Oooomami, and Spicier Smoke, “for those pepper heads who need the next level!” You can purchase them online here.
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Listen to episode 2 here.