Are you more of a Tabasco person, or do the spicy chili peppers of Southeast Asia the ones that get your mouth watering? Should hotness be combined with salty flavors, or rather sweet ones? Whatever you believe and whatever your preferences, if you are one of those people who feels that “spicy” is never quite spicy enough, Hot Sauce Day is the perfect holiday for you!
History of Hot Sauce Day
Humans started using chili peppers and other such spices thousands of years ago. In South and Central America, there is evidence for chili peppers being used for cooking as early as 6,000 years ago, but they never reach Europe until the 16th century, when Portuguese and Spanish explorers began sending all sorts of unusual foods from the New World back home. The first hot sauce to be available in a bottle appeared in shops in the state of Massachusetts in the year 1807, and then suddenly, hot sauce was everywhere, and being added to everything. Tabasco sauce is one of the earliest brands to have come into existence that still exists today, being bottled and sold for the first time in 1868.
How to celebrate Hot Sauce Day
Tongue-burning food-lovers the world over, unite! January 22nd is your special day created so you can have the perfect excuse to enjoy the feeling of fire in your mouth all day long. The best way to celebrate this smoking hot holiday is to get together with like-minded people who aren’t afraid of a little spice and are up for a good challenge, and then spend the afternoon sampling different hot sauces from all over the world. According to a survey in 2014, the world’s ten best how sauces are:
- 10. Valentine Salsa Picante: This sweet and sour hot sauce has a citrusy tang to it.
- 9. Texas Pete: This sauce was made by accident at a little family-run restaurant in 1929, and it a bit weaker than most Louisiana-style sauces.
- 8. Tabasco: This is a classic, there’s no doubt about it. It contains more vinegar than other hot sauces tend to.
- 7. Tapatio: This hot sauce is also a bit sweet, with a distinct garlicky flavor.
- 6. Louisiana Hot Sauce Original: This is Louisiana’s number one hot sauce, and we all know those Cajuns know a thing or two about spice.
- 5. Huy Fong Chili Garlic: Long story short, this stuff is thick, hot, garlicky and delicious.
- 4. Frank’s Red Hot: This is the main ingredient in buffalo wing sauce. ‘Nuff said.
- 3. Crystal: People from Louisiana (yes, Louisiana again) swear by this stuff.
- 2. Cholula: This delightfully hot Mexican sauce is made from pequin peppers, that are 7 times hotter than jalapenos.
- 1. Huy Fong Sriracha: It’s no wonder the fame of this sauce reaches far and wide. It’s spicy, salty and seems to go well with almost everything. This is definitely a favorite the world over.
So what are you waiting for? Get a few friends together, buy lots of milk to wash these sauces down, and let the sampling begin! And if you’re feeling guilty about doing this to your poor stomach: don’t. Spicy foods fight bacteria and can help speed up your metabolism, so if you only do this every now and then, think of it as doing your body a favor.