In fact, true to the genre of sauces throughout 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 could not have been more apt for it refers to any hot and spicy sauce made from cold peppers or cold extracts and vinegar. Thus, you may have sauces made from any kind of chilly pepper (i.e., the fruits of crops hailing in the Capsicum family) like red peppers, habanera or tabasco. The Tabasco sauce is the most popular amongst all the hot sauces out there.
How hot your hot sauce will be is dependent on the type of pepper being used. Thus, you have the bell pepper with 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 favorite ingredient in many Mexican and Cajun dishes and in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. However, its widespread use is, as a barbecue accompaniment.
It is also used as a dipper. A hot barbecue sauce is usually a blend of sweet, sour and hot elements and the most popular combination contains tomato flavorings, sugar and vinegar.
Barbecue sauces come in myriad forms, with every region boasting of the native BBQ sauce. So you have the fiery Texas variety with a tomato base, the tomato and vinegar established Arkansas variety tempered down by molasses, the white mayonnaise 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 simple to prepare.
Take a few peppers (the number wholly depends on how hot your sauce will be) such as habanera or tabasco, a cup of water, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, one 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 ready.
Some peppers are nothing short of live ammunition and are known to cause skin irritation and are especially nasty when they get into the eyes.
There’s more to a pepper than just the tangy taste. Peppers are storehouses of vitamins A, E and C, potassium and folic acid. So aside from the distinct taste, the hot sauces also impart some nutritional value to the dishes that they grace.
The hot sauce retains its own in whatever dish it appears. As the saying goes, like it or loathe it, you just can’t ignore it.