Local Business Whips Up Unique, Tasty, and Healthy Blends
By Monica Pierce
Photography by Emma Thompson
Taken from the root of its flowering plant, turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cooking. In recent years, it has been growing in popularity in the US as people learn of its unique flavor as well as its benefits as a natural, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-boosting, gut-soothing superfood. Known for its vibrant yellow flavor, turmeric is typically used in hot water as tea, or with milk – commonly known as “golden milk”.
In the fall of 2017, Boise native and private chef, Molly Munster, was experimenting with ingredients in her kitchen when she stumbled upon a distinctive blend of local honey and turmeric. She excitedly texted a friend about her discovery, listing the ingredients: Honey, Turmeric… But auto-correct changed it to “Hot Eric.” The name stuck and what started as an inside joke has become a local sensation.
Turmeric and “golden milk” were growing in popularity across the world, but Molly found it was absent from the marketplace here in the Treasure Valley. As local demand for Hot Eric steadily grew, and when Molly saw the enjoyment her product brought to its fans, she knew she had to make it available to the public.
Although the possible combinations for these spices are endless, Molly chose to first perfect three unique blends, all of which have the foundational ingredients of turmeric and honey. Her three flagship products are the original Hot Eric, his spicy cousin Hot Raj, and their chocolatey buddy, Hot Koa. They are sold in roughly a dozen coffee shops and specialty grocery stores across the Treasure Valley, and in McCall and Ketchum. Molly also has plans to make her products available for purchase directly through her website.
All three blends can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways. Molly suggests that you use Hot Eric however you would use regular honey. Stir it into your tea, coffee, and cocktails, swirl it into your oatmeal, smoothies, and ice cream, or spread it onto your toast, pancakes, and waffles. The sky is the limit.
The vibrant and distinct flavor of this superfood is matched only by the personality of its creator. Molly’s passion for developing unique and beautiful foods, then sharing them with others, is very apparent. Her enthusiasm emanates as she speaks about her products.
“Sharing my culinary creations that are as beneficial to the body and mind as they are to the palate, is my way of contributing to a happier, healthier world.”
Hot Eric is sold under the name of Molly’s chef business, The Lifting Station, which is named in honor of her great-grandfather and grandfather who ran coal and other types of fueling stations right in the heart of downtown Boise. Molly views her own culinary creations as “fuel” for our human life, and proudly carries on her family tradition in this way.
Visit www.theliftingstation.com to learn more about Molly’s Hot Eric blends and to find a list of locations where they are available for purchase.