You take a bite of food and your tongue tingles while your eyes start to water.
Yeah, we’re talking about hot sauce! This sauce is usually made with ingredients like vinegar, chili peppers, and salt, and can be in a paste or liquid form.
Why is hot sauce liked by so many people?
When you eat foods like chili peppers this triggers receptors in your mouth that make your brain think your mouth’s on fire, but the pain followed by a rush of endorphins is why you associate spicy foods with happy feelings.
This makes you want to eat more hot sauce. If you love drizzling this sauce over your meat dishes and sandwiches, make sure you try the different types of popular hot sauce in our list.
But first, let’s take a journey back in time to find out how this sauce came about.
Who Invented Hot Sauce?
When we talk about how hot sauce came about, we need to look at how chili peppers first started making their way to our tables because they are such an important ingredient in hot sauce.
Chili peppers are some of the first plants that were cultivated and they can be traced back to the start of civilization, with archeological evidence showing that they were being eaten around 7,000 BC.
Many millennia later, hot sauces were invented as condiments to boost the flavor of food. The first hot sauces that were consumed were by the Aztecs and they contained basic ingredients such as peppers, herbs, and water.
When European conquerors came to South America in the 16th century, they saw that the Aztecs were growing various types of chili peppers. Inspired, the Europeans brought a variety of new ingredients to use with the chili peppers, such as spices and onions.
They then headed back to Europe with chili peppers and this is how they started making hot sauce that became popular in the rest of the world.
Columbus is the likely reason why the peppers travelled to Europe and India. Known as the Columbian Exchange, this was a time when foods and other goods were introduced from Africa, Asia, and Europe to the Americas, and vice versa.
Interestingly, when cooking techniques before the Columbian Exchange were studied, historians found that people made their foods spicy with the use of black pepper. Therefore, the arrival of chilis as a result of the Columbian Exchange was a game changer.
In 1807, hot sauce was available commercially in Massachusetts, but it was marketed as “cayenne sauce.” A few decades later, a company in New York called J. McCollick & Company produced a bird pepper sauce, but this was around the same time that Colonel Maunsell White would grow the first batch of tabasco chilies, and he later sold bottles of hot sauce made with these chilies.
A businessman called Edmund McIlhenny then got chili seeds from White and grew peppers of his own in Louisiana. He’s credited as being the inventor of tabasco sauce. Over the years, his tabasco sauce led to many other hot sauce products to appear on the shelves.
A popular type of hot sauce, sriracha sauce, was invented in 1980 when David Tran, a Chinese-Vietnamese businessman, established his company, Huy Fong Foods. He named the sauce after a city in Thailand called Si Racha, and to make it he combined chili peppers, garlic, and sugar together. It became a global hit.
11 Types Of Hot Sauces From Around The World
There are many different types of hot sauce that have developed over the years and in different countries of the world. Here are some of the most intriguing and delicious hot sauces.
Louisiana Hot Sauce
This type of hot sauce usually goes by the name Red Hot or tabasco. It’s thin, a bit salty, and can be used in cooking or as a condiment at the table.
It contains salt, vinegar, and chili peppers. Sometimes it’s fermented.
Picante Hot Sauce
This hot sauce is a Mexican-style product that’s thin in consistency but doesn’t contain a lot of vinegar – sometimes vinegar is completely given a miss.
It’s usually made from jalapeno, habanero, chipotle, and pequin chilies. You’ll find this type of hot sauce regularly served in Mexican restaurants.
Sriracha Hot Sauce
This is a popular hot sauce that’s orange-red in color and hails from Si Racha in Thailand, as we mentioned earlier.
It contains red chilies, garlic, salt, vinegar, and sugar. It’s a versatile sauce that can be used on a variety of foods, not just Asian dishes.
Chili Garlic Hot Sauce
This is very similar to sriracha, but it’s thicker and chunkier in consistency while being a bit spicier. It contains hot red chili peppers, white vinegar, salt, and garlic. It doesn’t use a lot of sugar.
Harissa Hot Sauce
This type of hot sauce is popular in North African cuisine. It’s more of a paste than a sauce because it’s thick. It contains dried chilies like serrano, herbs, spices like cumin, herbs, and garlic, the latter of which is highlighted.
Green and Red Hot Sauce
New Mexico restaurants offer these two variations of hot sauce, both of which are poured onto a variety of meals – even eggs!
The “red” and “green” refer to the types of chilies used to make the sauce. Other ingredients appearing in the sauce include chicken stock, onion, cumin, garlic, and sometimes flour to thicken it up.
Ti-Malice Hot Sauce
This sauce hails from Haiti. It’s got a thick consistency and has a funny story behind it.
According to legend, a trickster called Ti-Malice would add a lot of spicy sauce to his food so that his friend wouldn’t eat all his food when he came around.
But, the idea backfired because everyone in the town started to love the sauce! Ti-Malice contains green and red peppers, shallot, onion, garlic, tomato, and vinegar.
Gochujang Hot Sauce
This is a sauce that’s popular in Korean cuisine. It’s a sticky, thick paste that’s spicy and sweet. It contains red chili powder, sticky rice, malt barley powder, salt, and fermented soybean powder.
It’s a very rich sauce so you don’t need large quantities of it.
Hungarian Crushed Hot Paprika
Made with crushed paprika peppers and tomatoes, this Hungarian hot sauce is a popular addition to various meals in the country, such as chicken paprikash and goulash.
Awaze Hot Sauce
This spicy sauce from Ethiopia has quite a few unusual ingredients not commonly found in many other sauces.
Awaze contains chili peppers and garlic, but also paprika, fenugreek seeds, cayenne pepper, and tej wine, which is a honey wine. It’s commonly served as a side sauce with various local dishes.
This hot sauce comes from Ghana and it also adds an unusual ingredient – dried fish. It contains dried herring or shrimp that’s combined with ingredients such as ginger, onions, tomatoes, oil, and chili peppers.
The ingredients are cooked in vegetable oil or corn oil to make them turn into a sauce. This gives it an extra punch of flavor that works well with stews and other wholesome dishes.
Is it safe to eat hot sauce daily?
While hot sauce eaten daily shouldn’t be a problem, if you notice any negative side effects, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or heartburn, it’s wise to scale back a bit.
Why is some hot sauce fermented?
Fermented hot sauces are said to have more flavor complexity as compared to unfermented ones. This is because they allow more subtle flavors to come to the surface.
What’s the hottest hot sauce?
Mad Dog 375 No. 9 Plutonium is said to be the hottest hot sauce on the market. It contains 60 percent pure capsicum and its pepper extract is one of the purest and therefore hottest in the world.
The bottle comes with a warning that says you should only use it as a food additive.
If you want to add a bit of fiery heat to your food, you can’t go wrong with hot sauce.
But there are many different variations and styles of hot sauce from around the world to know about. After reading this article, you now have a better idea of the best hot sauces to add to your meals.
We’ve also taken you on a journey to explore the colorful history of how hot sauce came about and was developed into the modern food accompaniment we know and love today.
Nicole Dowdy is an avid foodie and successful restaurateur. [He/she] has dedicated nearly all her life to learning popular recipes from across the globe as well as developing new ones. Using Food Migration, Nicole Dowdy shares the very best recipes for just about every home cook looking to try something new in the kitchen. Pro chefs can also learn a few tricks on the website.Looking to improve your kitchen? You will also find awesome and high-quality kitchen utensil recommendations as well as buying guides on this website.