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Hot sauces are used as condiments to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of foods. The origin of hot sauce dates back to the days of the Mayans and Aztecs. Chili peppers are believed to be among the earliest plants cultivated by humans. Initially, hot sauce was a mixture of peppers and water. Nearly every world culture developed its signature hot sauce. Some of the commercially produced hot sauces in Massachusetts were sold as "cayenne sauce."
Capsaicin is the chemical that gives peppers their distinctive spicy flavor. The spiciness of food substances is measured on the Scoville scale, which measures the level of capsaicinoids and the unit of measure is SHU (Scoville Heat Units). There are a variety of chilies with different degrees of heat and flavor. For example, chipotle chilies are hot with a smoky flavor; guajillo chilies have a tangy taste; habanero, piquin, Arbol, puya, and jalapenos chilies are other varieties of chilies found in America.
Mexican hot sauces are usually a mixture of chili peppers, herbs, spices, vinegar, and salt. Most hot sauces nowadays are fermented to add a tangy flavor. The Tabasco Company in the 19th century brought hot sauce by bottling and selling their products commercially. Other varieties of hot sauces include a broad spectrum of flavors from Sriracha to buffalo sauce.
Different flavor options of Hot sauce: Some of the most popular hot sauces include:
Sriracha sauce: The famous Sriracha sauce is named after the Thai city of Si Racha and consists of chili peppers and flavoring additives like garlic and sugar. It ranks 5 out of 10 on the hotness scale. It is an excellent condiment with noodles, steaks, tacos, and tortillas.
El Yucateco: A famous Mexican sauce that contains habanero chilies, vinegar, tomatoes, spices, and seasonings. The flavor is pretty hot and spicy, with a strong taste of habanero pepper. It is available in kutbilik, green, red, black label, Caribbean, and jalapeno.
Tabasco Original / Chipotle: A classic hot sauce to give any burrito a kick, with a 7.5 out of 10 on the hotness scale. The Original sauce has a mild flavor that makes it the perfect complement to nearly any dish. The chipotle version has a darker, smoky flavor.
Cholula: This Mexican flavor is made from a blend of piquin and arbol chilies, salt, spices, and vinegar. The taste is tangy and spicy, available in chipotle, green pepper, chili lime, and chili garlic. It is medium hot and used to give an extra kick to your burritos, tacos, and a spicy dip for your fries.
Salsa Buffalo: produced in Mexico City, this sauce is a thick mix of guajillo peppers, sugar, garlic, and spices. It is mildly spicy and available in chipotle, jalapeno, and clasica. It is ideal to be added to your soups and antojitos.
Tapatio: Produced in Vernon, California, this sauce has medium heat, made with red peppers, garlic, spices, and vinegar. This deep flavor is great with breakfast tacos, potato wedges, and hash browns.
Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce: With hotness of 6/10, this sauce has a unique creamy texture, with hints of lemon and garlic that add a lot of depth to its flavor. The perfect addition to your morning eggs to steak fajitas.
If you want to tingle your senses and want to buy some hot and tangy flavors, be sure to visit the Bronx Night Market for tangy habanero sauce, Caribbean block party, and other spicy treats.