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!
With just 6 ingredients, this habanero hot sauce is super simple, yet highly delicious (and spicy). Make up a batch for National Hot Sauce Day! This recipe will use up a good amount of habaneros from the garden and will beat many craft hot sauces for flavor and price.
Try out this delicious Spicy Kebab Shop Chilli Sauce on National Hot Sauce Day. Full of flavour and packs a good punch. You can adjust the amount of chilli in it to suit your taste. Quick and easy to make and tastes great with grilled meat, chicken or fish.
There’s absolutely nothing subtle going on here on National Hot Sauce Day. Zhoug (aka; zhug, skhug, schug or s’hug) is a bold and bright Yemeni green hot sauce. It’s spicy, tangy and packed with flavor. Slather zhoug on kebabs, falafel, fresh pita, hummus and more!
This easy homemade paleo salsa is perfect for snacking on National Hot Sauce Day. Homemade salsa is free of any preservatives or artificial flavors and the ingredients taste so incredibly fresh. Best of all, you can tweak it until you get it to just that level of spiciness that your taste buds are craving. It's a super-tasty, super-easy to make salsa dip. Enjoy!
Sambal oelek chili paste is so easy to make at home that you'll wonder why you ever bought it in a jar! It only takes 10 minutes on National Hot Sauce Day to make a big jar of this much loved Indonesian chili paste. Plus, once you know how to make it, you can easily customize it to suit your tastes.
Tomatillo hot sauce has the heat, acidity, and brightness needed to add flavor to any dish on National Hot Sauce Day. This hot sauce will make your palette sing with the acidity of the vinegar and tomatillos, the jalapeño’s heat, and the cilantro’s fresh, citrusy taste.
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce comes together quickly with fresh ingredients. Just make sure to follow the recipe as it is on National Hot Sauce Day. Don't reduce the sugar, after all, it's a sweet chili sauce, the sugar helps in preserving the sauce for a longer period of time and besides you are just supposed to use small quantities of this cause in your food as a stir-fry or dip
Have you gotten on the hot honey trend? This sweet and smoky hot honey recipe takes minutes to make with just a few ingredients and you determine the heat! Use hot honey on National Hot Sauce Day anywhere you would normally use honey, on biscuits, fritters, pizza, waffles, chicken, even in tea!
This homemade Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce recipe is a fun way to bring that fire to your recipes on National Hot Sauce Day. You can use any peppers if you can't handle the reaper, but thus ultra hot recipe can have your guests squirming.
Homemade Buffalo Sauce is so easy to make at home on National Hot Sauce Day using simple pantry ingredients. Tangy, spicy, and so much better than store-bought buffalo wing sauce, this recipe takes just 5 minutes to make and tastes delicious with everything from wings to sliders to vegetables – and everything in between!
This Guajillo Sauce is the perfect Salsa Roja (red sauce) for any of your favorite Mexican recipes on National Hot Sauce Day. It’s perfect for enchiladas, chilaquiles or tamales or can be used as a quick condiment.
Homemade Trinidad Pepper Sauce is a fiery, flavorful sauce that is used to add "heat" to just about any food, especially on National Hot Sauce Day. A combination of hot peppers and flavorful seasoning. This "Trini pepper sauce" is a must-have in your pantry.
Salsa chile de árbol is a spicy sauce first discovered in an Argentinian restaurant in Mexico and is perfect for National Hot Sauce Day. It’s nice slathered on bread or served with tortilla chips, piled on top of a baked potato, rubbed on a hot ear of corn.
This Peri Peri Sauce recipe is not for the faint hearted, but if you are a chilli fan then you have to try this on National Hot Sauce Day. Peri Peri sauce or (Piri Piri sauce) was brought to South Africa by the Portuguese and has since been popularised by Nando’s.