If you are someone who cannot live without hot sauce, here’s an excellent opportunity for you to tell the world what makes it your favourite condiment. January 22 is celebrated as Hot Sauce Day every year mainly in the US but considering the fact that it is a hot favourite here in Oman as well, let the celebrations continue.
Made from chilli peppers and other ingredients it is available in various flavours and a staple in many countries throughout the world. Chunks of peppers are simmered in vinegar till they are soft with salt is how the sauce is prepared and the choice of the pepper used determines the colour and flavour of the sauce. The hot Habanero Pepper is very hot and gives an orange colour, Cayenne pepper is used in making Tabasco sauce, and green pepper like Jalapeno is used to make the green coloured sauce.
While the most common ingredients of hot sauce are chilli peppers, vinegar, and salt, some sauces also include fruits, vegetables, and a wide range of ingredients. Capsaicin extract and mustard oil are also used to increase the heat of some hot sauces.
It is said that the presence of hot sauce can be traced in history where containers storing them have been found during archeological surveys, in ancient ruins and in ships.
One of the oldest hot sauces is Tabasco discovered by Edmund Mcilhenney. Being an avid gardener he got some pepper seeds from Mexico and planted them on Avery Island near New Orleans. He loved the flavour so much that he decided to make a pepper sauce, and market it. Tabasco is a region in Mexico and also the name of a pepper. While in Africa, it is made from a base of red birdseye chilli peppers and seasoned with cumin and coriander, in Chinese cuisine it is called chilli sauce and is more likely to be a thick paste.