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National Hot Sauce Day (January 22)

Check out the weird holiday National Hot Sauce Day on January 22. Learn the history of hot sauce, as well as get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 22 is National Hot Sauce Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Hot Sauce Day

Hot sauce is a condiment that is made by pureeing (or crushing) chili peppers (raw, smoked, cooked, or even pickled), with different types of spices.

In Central and South America, historians have discovered evidence of chilis being used to cook as early as 6,000 years ago. At that time, the recipe was a simple mix of peppers and water being mixed into a thick paste or liquid.

Chili peppers weren’t discovered in the Americas until the 16th century, and they were distributed across the world by Portugues and Spanish explorers and traders.

Chilis are used not just for flavoring food, but also as medicine – peppers can fight bacteria and speed up your metabolism. Additionally, pepper spray is manufactured by using chili peppers.

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of varieties of hot sauce because different areas of the world use their different kinds of chilli peppers for the bases of their sauces. In Jamaica, for example, they typically use scotch bonnet peppers. Conversely, in Mexico the hot sauces are made with chipotle or jalapeno peppers.

The varieties of hot sauce also change based on the spices used and how the peppers themselves are prepared. Some countries crush the peppers in vinegar, while others use a tomato puree (or even a carrot puree). Countries in the Middle East typically use oil.

The first hot sauce to be sold in a bottle was in 1807, and this “Cayenne sauce” began to show up in shops in the state of Massachusetts.

Tobasco sauce was one of the earliest brands that still exists today, and it was bottled and sold for the first time in 1868. It was created by Edmund McIlhenny, who felt that the diet of Southerners in the United States was too bland.

In 1849, Colonel Maunsell White, an Irish immigrant to Kentucky who became a banker, grew the first recorded crop of of tabasco chiles. He then went on to promote peppers and hot sauce.

Buffalo Wings were created in Buffalo, New York in 1964 when a restaurant owner made a late-night snack for her son and his friends.

In 1980, David Tran (a refugee from Vietnam) started a company in California and named his hot sauce Sri Racha, after a city in Thailand. In addition to chili pepers, Sriracha also contained garlic and sugar.

The popular hot sauce manufacturer Old El Paso was founded in 1980, and in 1992, salsa replaced ketchup as the number one condiment in the United States. This led to the Campbell Soup Company purchasing the Mexican-style sauce company Pace for $1.1 billion in 1994.

In 1998, the Super Bowl featured an ad of a man smothering his pizza with Tobasco sauce. The ad then shows a mosquito biting the man and then exploding into flames as it flies away.

Even though chili peppers are native to the Americas, nowadays India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of chili peppers.

The heat in chili peppers comes from a chemical compound called capsaicinoids, which are measured by the Scoville Scale. The higher the rating on the scale, the more capsaicinoids the pepper has, which means the chili flavor it has is more intense.

The hottest pepper in the world is considered to be the Carolina Reaper with a Scoville rating of 2 million! To compare, the average jalapeno pepper has a Scoville rating of just 3,500 Scoville Heat Units.

Ideas for National Hot Sauce Day

You can go out and purchase some hot sauce or eat out at a restaurant, or you can make your own with one of these recipes!

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