About hot sauce
Hot sauce, chili sauce, or pepper sauce refer to any spicy sauce made from chili peppers and other ingredients.
Types of hot sauce
- Mexican hot sauces: Mexican hot sauce typically focuses more on flavor than on intense heat. The sauces are hot, but the individual flavors of the peppers are pronounced. Vinegar is used sparingly or not at all. Chipotles (dried and smoked jalapeño peppers) are a very popular ingredient of Mexican hot sauce. Some sauces produced in Mexico are high-vinegar-content similar to the American Louisiana-style sauces. Mexican-style sauces are also produced internationally.
- American hot sauces: Most often called hot sauce, they are typically made from chili pepper, vinegar and salt. Peppers used are often of the varieties Cayenne, Jalapeño and Habanero. Chipotles (smoked jalapeños) are also common. Some hot sauces, notably Tabasco sauce, are aged in wooden casks similar to the preparation of wine and fermented vinegar. Other ingredients, including fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, mangoes, carrots, and chayote squash are sometimes used to add flavor, mellow the heat of the chilis, and thicken the sauce's consistency.
- West Indian and Caribbean hot sauces: Hot pepper sauces, as they are most commonly known there, feature heavily in Caribbean cuisine. Like American-style sauces, they are made from chili peppers and vinegar, with fruits and vegetables added for extra flavor. The most common peppers used are habanero and scotch bonnet, the latter being the most common in Jamaica. Both are very hot peppers, making for strong sauces. Over the years each island developed its own distinctive recipes, and home-made sauces are still common.
- Asian hot sauces: Asian hot sauces vary widely in composition, consistency and spiciness.