For Those Who Like It Hot
If hot sauces don't liven up your gourmet meal, nothing will! Beware hot sauces: some of them can actually cause burns! Hot sauces get their heat from the hottest peppers. Some of the very hottest hot sauces are made with pure pepper oil and should not be taken lightly!
Hot sauces can also contain vinegar, garlic, onions, spices, citrus and other sharp tastes. Tomatoes and other vegetables can be added to dilute the Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
Hot peppers and chilis stimulate our heat receptors with a chemical called capsaican. This is the same compound found in nightshade and other poisons. Nevertheless, hot sauce gourmets claim that hot sauce makes them feel alive and gives them an endorphin rush!
The heat of sauces is measured on the Scoville scale. Some of the hottest peppers, the habaneros, have a Scoville rating higher than 300,000. This means they would have to be dilluted 300,000 times before the active ingredient is undetected.
Want to know more about what makes hot sauce so hot? These are some of the hottest peppers used in hot sauce:
- Jalapenos are hot chili peppers
- Cayenne peppers are 30,000 to 45,000 SHU
- Habaneros are on average 200,000 to 300,000 SHU
- Scotch Bonnet is a Caribbean habanero pepper that can have over 350,000 SHU
- Red Sevinas are a kind of habanero that can be over 500,000 SHU
Now that you know how hot hot sauce can be, send it as a gift to someone you love! Or order some for your next gourmet get together!
Did you know?
A physician on Columbus' second voyage to the West Indies May have been the first hot sauce fan. He brought hot pepper to Spain and published numerous tracts about its medicinal effects.