There’s nothing like a dash of hot sauce to liven up even the blandest of all dishes. Actually, true to the genre of sauces all over the world, the hot sauce is not simply an accompaniment but also does honors as the prime ingredient in many dishes.
The term hot sauce couldn’t have been more apt for it pertains to any hot and spicy sauce made from cold peppers or chilly extracts and vinegar. Therefore, you can have sauces made from any type of chilly pepper (i.e., the fruits of crops hailing from the Capsicum family) like red peppers, habanera or tabasco.
How hot your hot sauce is going to be is determined by the type of pepper being used. Thus, you have the bell pepper using a barely-there flavor at one end of the spectrum and the robust habaneros, which will work up quite a steam, at the opposite end. Interestingly, it’s a substance called capsaicin, which imparts the characteristic heat to the pepper.
The hot sauce is a popular ingredient in several Mexican and Cajun dishes and in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. However, its widespread use is, as a barbecue accompaniment.
Additionally it is used as a dipper. A hot barbecue sauce is usually a blend of sweet, sour and hot elements and the most popular combination comprises tomato flavorings, bat removal services, sugar and vinegar.
Barbecue sauces come in myriad forms, with every region boasting of the 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 grape based Alabama type and the black pepper, mustard and vinegar mixture hailing from South Carolina.
For all the fire they spew, hot pepper sauces are easy to prepare.
Simply take a few peppers (the amount wholly depends on how hot your sauce will be) like habanera or tabasco, a cup of water, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 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. Last, crush this heady mixture in a blender. Your hot pepper sauce is prepared.
A word of caution
Some peppers are nothing short of live ammunition and are known to cause skin irritation and are particularly nasty when they enter the eyes.
There is more to some pepper than just the tangy taste. Peppers are storehouses of vitamins A, C and E, potassium and folic acid. So aside from the different taste, the hot sauces also impart some nutrient value to the dishes that they grace.
The hot sauce holds its own in whatever dish it appears. As the saying goes, like it or loathe it, you simply can’t ignore it.