Some Like It Hot

     People everywhere like a bit of spice with their food. You could say that " some like it hot ", when it comes to those delicious hot sauces made from chili peppers and other tasty natural ingredients. Many places all over the world have their own variation on the hot sauce. Some of the popular sauces come from:

  • The Americas (Mexico, Southern USA)
  • Asia (Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia)
  • Europe (UK)

These, and other, great sauces originally came from one location but have since spread throughout the world and many are popular worldwide.

You may not know that there is an international standard for the heat of a chili sauce. The Scoville scale was invented in 1912 by William Scoville, and measures the amount of capsaicin present. This is the chemical that gives chili its hot taste. A bell pepper will typically measure 0 Scoville heat units, and the hottest peppers, like Infinity Chili and Naga Viper measure about 1,000,000. For comparison, pepper spray measures about 5,000,000. Some like it hot, but not many like it that hot!


Asian Hot Sauces

     Many of the popular Asian cuisines have a variation on the hot sauce. These are some of the popular hot chili sauces from this region.

  • In Thailand, Siracha sauce is a popular hot sauce made from chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. The sauce takes the name of the coastal city where it is a popular addition to seafood dishes.

  • The Korean equivalent is Gochujang, a savory condiment that ferments in large earthen pots for years. This hot pepper paste has red chili peppers, rice powder and soybean paste.

  • Another popular hot sauce is Sambal, from the area around Malaysia and Indonesia. This condiment uses a variety of chili peppers and is very spicy.

     Many other parts of Asia produce great hot sauces too.


American Hot Sauces

     The American region is also famous for some great hot sauces, particularly from the south of the USA where there is no denying that some like it hot in the Deep South.

The Cajun population of Louisiana use hot sauce to add spice to the rustic cuisine popular in this region. Many Cajun hot sauces exist, all have different levels of heat but none of them are painfully hot. The Cajun people traditionally use peppers of varying strength in the manufacture of these sauces.

Just south of the border, the Mexican sauces tend to focus on flavor rather than heat. This means that even though the sauces are hot, the pepper flavor is the foremost taste. Common Mexican sauces include:

  • Valentina
  • Bufalo
  • Chile de Arbol


Europe

     Great Britain is responsible for the Napa Viper and Infinity Chili, the two hottest chilies in the world, and both have been made into sauces. These are the hottest natural chili sauces known to man.


Festivals

     Not only do people love to use these great sauces to spice up their food, but in some places they even celebrate them with festivals. In these places, not only do some like it hot, but most love it and the hotter the better. These festivals are more than just a celebration of everyone’s favorite spicy sauce, but become a social gathering for the entire town. This is particularly true in the southern states and Texas in particular is famous for its sauce festivals.

These festivals often feature a chili sauce cook-off, which is like a BBQ, where judges and members of the public can try the great sauces. Events like this can raise many thousands of dollars for charity as well as promoting the sauces.

Hot Chili sauce makes a great addition to any meal, and great sauces originate from all over the world. You really can say that "Some like it hot!"


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