is nothing like a dash of hot sauce to liven up even the blandest
of all dishes. In fact, true to the genre of sauces all over
the world, the hot sauce is not only an accompaniment but
also does honors as the prime ingredient in many dishes.
The term hot sauce could not have been more apt for it refers
to any hot and spicy sauce made from chilly peppers or chilly
extracts and vinegar. Thus, you can have sauces made from
any kind of chilly pepper (i.e., the fruits of plants hailing
from the Capsicum family) like red peppers, habaneras or tabasco.
The Tabasco sauce is the most popular amongst all the hot
How hot your hot sauce is going to be is determined by the
type of pepper being used. Thus, you have the bell pepper
with a barely-there taste at one end of the spectrum and the
robust habaneros, which will work up quite a steam, at the
other end. Interestingly, it is a substance called capsaicin,
which imparts the characteristic heat to the pepper.
The hot sauce is a popular constituent in many Mexican and
Cajun dishes and in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. However,
its most widespread use is, as a barbequeue accompaniment.
Barbecue sauce is poured onto grilled or barbecued meat. It
is also used as a dipper. A hot barbecue sauce is usually
a blend of sweet, sour and spicy elements and the most popular
combination contains tomato flavorings, vinegar and sugar.
Barbecue sauces come in myriad forms, with every region boasting
of their native BBQ sauce. Thus you have the fiery Texas variety
with a tomato base, the vinegar and tomato based Arkansas
variety tempered down by molasses, the white mayonnaise based
Alabama type and the black pepper, mustard and vinegar concoction
hailing from South Carolina.
For all the fire they spew, hot pepper sauces are easy to
Take a few peppers (the number wholly depends on how hot your
sauce will be) like habanera or tabasco, a cup of water, 1/3
cup red wine vinegar, one bell pepper, a tablespoon of paprika,
salt to taste and cumin if you so desire. Chop or grind the
peppers and boil it with all the ingredients. Lastly, crush
this heady mixture in a blender. Your hot pepper sauce is
ready. A word of caution
While working with pepper and pepper sauces, do remember to
don the gloves. Some peppers are nothing short of live ammunition
and are known to cause skin irritation and are especially
nasty when they get into the eyes.
There is more to a pepper than just the tangy taste. Peppers
are storehouses of vitamins A, C and E, potassium and folic
acid. So apart from the distinct taste, the hot sauces also
impart some nutritional value to the dishes they grace.
The hot sauce holds its own in whatever dish it appears. As
the saying goes, like it or loathe it, you just cannot ignore
McCarthy is the owner of IInsaneChicken's
Hot Sauce and BBQ Sauce Catalog and a hot sauce