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The First Bottled Hot Sauce Went On Sale In 1807 Massachusetts

Are you more of a Tabasco person, or do the spicy chili peppers of Southeast Asia the ones that get your mouth watering? Should hotness be combined with salty flavors or rather sweet ones? Whatever you believe and whatever your preferences, if you are one of those people who feels that “spicy” is never quite spicy enough, Hot Sauce Day is the perfect holiday for you!

  • In South and Central America, there is evidence for chili peppers being used for cooking as early as 6,000 years ago, but they never reach Europe until the 16th century, when Portuguese and Spanish explorers began sending all sorts of unusual foods from the New World back home.
  • The first hot sauce to be available in a bottle appeared in shops in the state of Massachusetts in the year 1807, and then suddenly, hot sauce was everywhere, and being added to everything.
  • Tabasco sauce is one of the earliest brands to have come into existence that still exists today, being bottled and sold for the first time in 1868.
  • In the Caribbean, the most commonly used peppers for making hot sauces are habañero and Scotch Bonnet which makes for some very hot sauce.
  • In Africa, the favored hot sauce can vary by country.  Harissa is an example from Tunisia that is made from a base of red birdseye chili peppers and seasoned with cumin and coriander.
  • Hot sauce in Chinese cuisine is more commonly called chili sauce and is more likely to be a thick paste than a thin sauce.  Chinese hot sauce also differs from other regions sauces because many varieties involve brine solutions or pickling as part of the cooking process.
  • Different Chinese dishes use different types of chili sauce.  Chili oil, which is made from dried chilies and steeped in oil, is one example.  Guilin chili sauce, which is made with fermented soybeans, is another.
  • In Thailand, many dishes incorporate raw chilies rather than hot sauce but hot sauce made from chilies is still a popular condiment.  Sriracha sauce, which has gained popularity in American cuisine, is from Thailand.
  • Hot sauce in Thailand may also be found as a dipping sauce and Thai sweet chili sauce is popular around the world.
  • The United Kingdom is home to two of the hottest peppers in the world, the Naga Viper and the Infinity chili which means it is also home to two of the most naturally hot sauces in the world.
  • In Mexico, hot sauce is often made from chipotle peppers.  Unlike other places where the heat seems to be the most important aspect, Mexican sauces focus more on the flavor of the chili pepper.
  • American hot sauces most commonly use cayenne, chipotle, habañero, and jalapeño peppers as the base and source of heat.  There are several regional varieties including Louisiana-style like Tabasco sauce which uses red chili peppers and vinegar and New Mexico-style which uses red or green chili peppers and a roux at the base and is made without vinegar.
  • You’ve probably pronounced it wring:  Sriracha is the popular hot sauce made by the Huy Fong Foods company and characterized by the rooster emblazoned on its bottles.  What you may not know is that it isn’t pronounced sree-ra-cha. The correct pronunciation is actually see-rotch-a (or /sɪˈrɑːtʃɑː/).
  • Over 54% of households currently buy hot sauce as a condiment or have it in their household, and Sriracha is in 9% of those households.
  • The burning feeling that makes chile peppers so appealing to pyro-gourmaniacs comes from a collection of compounds called capsaicinoids.
  • Mexico alone grows more than 140 varieties of chile peppers alone.
  • When hot sauce is consumed, a common reaction by the body is to sweat, particularly on the forehead. The scientific term for this reaction is gustatory perspiration.
  • Capsaicin gives chile peppers their heat and is concentrated in the veins of the fruit.
  • Is your mouth on fire? Don’t drink water! Capsaicin, which is an oil, does not mix with the water but is instead distributed to more parts of the mouth.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records lists the “Red Savina” habanero as the hottest pepper in the world. It measured a whopping 577,000 Scoville Units.
  • The ancient Mayans rubbed chile peppers on their gums to cure toothaches.
  • Two of the founding fathers of our country, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, are both known to have grown chile peppers.

According to a survey in 2014, the world’s ten best hot sauces are:

  • 10. Valentine Salsa Picante: This sweet and sour hot sauce has a citrusy tang to it.
  • 9. Texas Pete: This sauce was made by accident at a little family-run restaurant in 1929, and it a bit weaker than most Louisiana-style sauces.
  • 8. Tabasco: This is a classic, there’s no doubt about it. It contains more vinegar than other hot sauces tend to.
  • 7. Tapatio: This hot sauce is also a bit sweet, with a distinct garlicky flavor.
  • 6. Louisiana Hot Sauce Original: This is Louisiana’s number one hot sauce, and we all know those Cajuns know a thing or two about spice.
  • 5. Huy Fong Chili Garlic: Long story short, this stuff is thick, hot, garlicky and delicious.
  • 4. Frank’s Red Hot:  This is the main ingredient in buffalo wing sauce. ‘Nuff said.
  • 3. Crystal: People from Louisiana (yes, Louisiana again) swear by this stuff.
  • 2. Cholula: This delightfully hot Mexican sauce is made from pequin peppers, that are 7 times hotter than jalapenos.
  • 1. Huy Fong Sriracha: It’s no wonder the fame of this sauce reaches far and wide. It’s spicy, salty and seems to go well with almost everything. This is definitely a favorite the world over.


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