A History of Hot Sauces
Like to get your taste buds tingling with the tantalizing zing of chili pepper and vinegar? So did the ancients. When you slather on your hot sauce of choice you can rest assured in the knowledge that your ancestors craved that kick as much as you do. Bottles of hot sauce have appeared in the remains of shipwrecks and archaeological digs worldwide.
The history of hot sauce in America undoubtedly stretches farther back than written records document , but the first advertisements for hot sauce appeared in a Massachusetts newspaper in 1807. While the advertisement may have appeared on the rocky shores of the New England coast before anywhere else, both logic and considerable evidence say that the first homemade hot sauces came from the American South. Not only is the environment in that area of the country more favorable to the growing and making of hot sauce's ingredients, but the stronger influence of Mexican and Cajun cultures made hot sauce a common table ingredient for years.
One of the first mass-produced hot sauces was Edmund McIlhenny's Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce, which hit the market in 1868 – the iconic Tabasco with the glass bottle and wooden stopper. In case you've ever wondered, "Tabasco" refers to a certain part of Mexico where the pepper is grown: but since "Tabasco sauce" has become a trademarked term, other hot sauces can note that they use Tabasco peppers in their product, but it cannot be called "Tabasco sauce" unless it's produced by the McIlhenny company.
Today, of course, there are thousands of hot sauces available on the market. Consumers can choose from sauces crafted from Tabasco peppers, cayenne peppers, chipotle peppers, piri piri, habanero peppers, jalapeno peppers, soy paste, and any number of ingredients to add different flavor and alter the strength of the sauce.
Feel free to join in with the illustrious history of millions – buy that tempting red bottle off the shelf the next time you hit the grocery store. Your taste buds will rejoice.
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