Hot Sauce Today
What's the trend? The hotter the better, but taste counts too. At hot & spicy food festivals and in cooking classes, I'm always asked: "What's the hottest sauce on the market?" A few people are seeking revenge, others like being macho, while some people just can't seem to get their food hot enough. Demand for the most incendiary sauce possible has prompted some makers to market vials of capsaicin (the chemical that gives chiles their sting), which to my mind is akin to extracting caffeine from coffee: caffeine is very powerful (and can kill you), but it misses the point -- taste. Sophisticated in their palates, most Americans are looking for heat and flavor -- not just burn -- and I suspect the most flavorful sauces will be the most enduring.
A hundred years ago, when the availability of ingredients often defined a hot sauce style, sauces were easily characterized by geography. Today regional distinctions become blurred, as people take their culinary traditions with them to new countries, and fresh exotic produce is available worldwide.
Excerpt from The Great Hot Sauce Book, by Jennifer Trainer Thompson
Many sauces reach ungodly heat ratings by extracting the oils from these peppers that contain the capsasin instead of using the entire pepper. For these types of sauces, no more than a drop or two should be used on anything and are used more as an additive than a condiment. Anything with a heat rating over 500,000 should be used with caution. Make sure you read your sauce labels, most of them will tell you the Scoville Unit rating or at least how liberal you can be with the sauce.
Heat Ratings are graded from lowest to highest:
|Ass in the Tub||Costa Rica|
|Crazy Mother Puckers||United States|
|Da Bomb||United States|
|Dave's Gourmet Foods||United States|
|The Flaming Chicken||United States|
|Hula Girl||United States|
|Maui Pepper||United States|
|Melinda's Pepper Sauce Company||United States|
|Ring of Fire||United States|
|Wing-Time Buffalo Wing Sauces||United States|