Welcome everyone to this week’s The Traveling Foody blog. The kids are out of school and you spent all year working hard and saving up for your vacation this summer. I hope everyone is ready to kick start their summer with some HEAT! That’s right foodies; it’s time to discover the powers of “Hot Sauce.”
Hot sauce has been used for thousands of years and containers for the sauce have been found during archeological digs and from sunken ships. Aztecs have been noted for using the chili’s that make these sauces and began refining them as early as 3500 B.C. Not only are hot sauces used for flavoring our foods but for medicinal usage as well. On their ventures to the Southern America’s, the early European explorers brought these peppers back to Europe and India where the popularity became infused in their cultural cuisine.
There are many different kinds of chili’s that are use and many types of sauces that are made around the world. A cluster of chemicals called capsaicinoids are the cause of the heat in chili peppers. When making the sauce, the peppers are infused with anything from oil, vinegar, beer, water, alcohol, vegetables and fruit pulp.
The hotness of the chili pepper and hot sauces are measured using a scale called the Scoville scale.
Today you can find a wide range of hot sauces. Many of these sauces have funny names to accompany their heat. It’s not just about the heat but about the flavors. Being a popular ingredient, hot sauce contests take place all over the globe. So get out there and test your palate, meet some new friends and try making your own. Who knows what you will unleash.
Here is a basic recipe for hot sauce:
First thing you need to do is select your pepper. There are many types of peppers to choose and this will be up to you to decide. Once you have selected your pepper you will need to determine the heat level. Depending on pepper, ½ pound will be milder than if you use 1 pound.
- To reduce the heat of the sauce, cut open the peppers and remove the seeds and membrane.
- Adding shredded carrots will reduce the heat of the sauce and enhance the fruit flavor of the chili.
- ½ to 2 lbs of peppers
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ large onion
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon crushed red peppers
- 2 Tablespoon Salt
Mince one clove of garlic. Dice ½ of large onion. Mix garlic, onion, hot peppers after taking seeds out and 16 ounces of tomato sauce in a food processor. Puree the mix until all thick chunks are gone. Place the mix in a frying pan. Cook on low to medium heat until simmering. Add one tablespoon of vinegar. Strain hot sauce into jar.
Happy summer everyone!
-Damien- The Traveling Foody