National Hot Sauce Day
annually on January 22nd
Today we celebrate and enjoy hot sauce! It is used in Bloody Marys, and put on foods such as eggs, enchiladas, and chicken wings. There are many variations and brands of it, but the one thing common to all hot sauce is the presence of chili peppers. Other common ingredients are salt and vinegar, and some have fruits and vegetables. Hotter peppers—those that are higher on the Scoville scale—are usually used to make hotter sauces, although pure capsaicin extract and mustard oil can increase the heat of a sauce as well. Ingredients vary by region, as does how hot sauces tend to be. Hot sauces aren't just liked for the flavor and heat they add to food; they also have many health benefits.
Habanero, cayenne, jalapeño, and chipotle peppers are commonly used to make hot sauce in America. Habanero and scotch bonnet peppers are favorites for hot sauce in the Caribbean, while chipotles are a favorite to make the sauce in Mexico. Raw chiles are often used instead of hot sauce in Thailand, although Sriracha is a hot sauce made there, and it has become popular around the world. Hot sauce in China is usually thicker and called chili sauce; brine solutions and pickling are also often involved in Chinese hot sauces.
Sauces made with cayenne peppers were introduced in 1807 and bottled in Massachusetts. Tabasco sauce, made by McIlhenny Company, is the oldest brand of hot sauce still in production. It helped jumpstart the popularity of hot sauce in America when it was introduced in 1868 and is still very popular today. Another early maker of hot sauce was Maunsel White, who was making it prior to the Civil War.
How to Observe National Hot Sauce Day
Celebrate the day by enjoying some hot sauce! Try one of the many brands that exist, or make your own. You could be a judge for, or enter your hot sauce into the World Hot Sauce Awards. Try some of the hot sauces that have won awards in the past, or try some hot sauces that have won at the Scovie Awards.