Hot sauce is one of the world’s favorite condiments. Rich and fatty, light and delicate — nearly all of our favorite foods can be made better with a dash of the good stuff. If you can’t get enough of the burn, here are 5 fascinating hot sauce facts to inspire you.
1. Hot sauce is likely THOUSANDS of years old
It’s impossible to tell exactly when people started turning chili peppers into spicy sauces, but we do have archaeological evidence of humans using chili peppers in food as far back as 2,400 years ago. It’s likely that people have been making their own hot sauce for this 2,400 years or longer! Learn more about the history of hot sauce here.
2. The first advertisement for hot sauce is from 1807 (that’s more than 200 years old!)
An advertisement from 1807 for cayenne hot sauce is one of the first records that we have of bottled hot sauce. Over the following 50 years, several competitors also started manufacturing and advertising different types of hot sauces.
3. The oldest hot sauce company is still in existence
Hot sauce has been around since 1807, but the oldest company still surviving didn’t open its doors until 1868. You may well have a bottle of it chilling in your fridge. The iconic brand that has survived for generations is none other than Tabasco sauce.
4. Love Sriracha? You’re probably pronouncing it wrong
Sriracha is such a well known brand, we could write an entire article about Sriracha facts! Sriracha is the popular hot sauce made by the Huy Fong Foods company and characterized by the rooster emblazoned on its bottles.
What you may not know is that it isn’t pronounced sree-ra-cha. The correct pronunciation is actually see-rotch-a (or /sɪˈrɑːtʃɑː/). Impress your friends with that little fact at your next barbecue.
5. Over 54% of households have hot sauce in their pantry
Hate math? We’ll break down the hot sauce statistics for you: Over 54% of households currently buy hot sauce as a condiment or have it in their household, and Sriracha is in 9% of those households.
What we’re wondering is, who the heck are the other 46%??
6. The hot sauce market is, well, on fire
It’s good to be in the hot sauce industry right now. The market for hot sauce has grown 5% every year, for the last 5 years. (3) That’s a huge amount of growth!
This may be because the Baby Boomers are getting older and turning to spicy foods to help recover some of their taste, or it could be because more households are being taken over by the younger generation.
7. Hot sauce is actually very healthy – no excuses needed for this indulgence!
In order to be considered a hot sauce, your favorite brand has to contain chili peppers. Even if it is spicy, if it doesn’t contain one of the hundreds of varieties of chili pepper in existence, it is not considered a hot sauce. Chili peppers aren’t just hot though, they are actually good for you.
A chili pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange, more vitamin A than carrots, and is low in calories. There’s no reason not to add an extra dash of hot sauce to your food if it suits you. It may even help you lose weight by curbing your appetite and making you less likely to crave sugary foods.
Hot sauce is one of the world’s most popular condiments. Whether your favorite is a splash of green Tabasco, or the vibrant red Sriracha sauce, it’s no secret spicy food is a favorite around the world. The next time you are at a party and need an ice breaker, bring up these interesting hot sauce facts, you’re sure to warm things up!