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On the table we go in search of taste: salt and spices can never be lacking in the kitchen to prepare delicious and original recipes.

After all, who likes to eat something that has no taste? But there are also those who are looking for something more and don't just enrich the dish, but turn it into a masterpiece reserved only for strong palates. As? Adding hot sauce!

Yet talking about hot sauce is really too generic: that's why today we will not only find out how hot sauce is prepared, but above all the best known and most appreciated types around the world.

We will make a leap to Japan and then move to China and finally arrive in Mexico, the home of spicy food par excellence. 

Curious? Let's start this journey to discover hot sauce right away.

Who likes hot sauce?

Hot sauce is a typical chili-based condiment that adds extra flavor to your dishes. It can be placed in the Hot Dog as in the piadina, or on grilled meat and even on fish. The decision to add this type of sauce with a spicy flavor is linked to the desire to be daring, making a normal dish more palatable and tasty.

But the term "spicy" already suggests that it is not for everyone. In fact, especially in the more powerful sauces, it is a strong flavor that is certainly not appreciated by children and not even by many adults, as it leaves the mouth almost on fire.

Today we can easily find it in the supermarket and we are led to think that it is a modern recipe, linked to new generation and certainly less traditional culinary uses. But that's not the case at all, because its origin dates back centuries and has often played a special role in the menus of the past.

Over time what has changed is its preparation. Today we don't know only one type, but the choice is wide and includes really strong sauces alongside more bearable types appreciated even by those who are not used to eating spicy. You can also buy the format in sauce, or choose spicy oil with fresh chillies.

The fixed point of this condiment, however, remains the chilli pepper, from which the various recipes in every single country originate. 

Simple ingredients for a sauce with an extra intense taste

Which chili peppers are best suited for making a hot sauce top? Here too the answer cannot be unequivocal because everyone in the world has its own traditions and typical peppers.

spicy sauce

In Mexico, very hot peppers are used, first of all the Habanero pepper.

Then, in other localities there are types with a more moderate taste, such as those used for the South American sauce called cayenne.

And finally, the less spicy but very spicy degree is found in Indian recipes that prefer a less strong flavor on the palate but still rich in taste and more suitable for family recipes for everyone.

In the hot sauce, however, the chilli pepper is not the only ingredient that gives that flavor that we can't resist. Here are the other ingredients commonly used and alternated in the various preparations:

  • vinegar
  • sugar
  • tomatoes
  • mustard oil
  • spices
  • salt.

Combined in a completely personal way, they give life to unique hot sauces that often conquer the palate up to making you cry!

Unexpected benefits for those who eat spicy food

If you're wondering if eating spicy is bad for your health, you're in the right place to find out.

In fact, we want to reassure those who love spicy food and cannot do without it by saying that chilli pepper has many benefits. Which? Here they are:

  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Fight hypertension
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces the chances of heart attack
  • Activate the metabolism
  • It even helps to lose weight by acting against water retention.

So we shouldn't be afraid to eat spicy, but it's always advisable not to overdo it because, in the long run, our intestines and also the urinary tract could be affected.

Who should you avoid? But of course children who are not the ideal consumers of spicy food, but also women who are breastfeeding because it is not a taste that the baby likes in mother's milk. Then it is not recommended for those who have gastrointestinal pathologies, ulcers or in people with particular problems related to a more sensitive stomach. 

Everyone else at least once in their life can try to taste hot sauce - the degree of resistance is purely subjective.

The hottest sauces to try: which ones?

Around the world, the three hottest sauces are found in Japan, China and especially in Mexico. Today we want to explore these completely unique types of condiments that have gained worldwide importance and are among the most used in the kitchen, at home as well as in the catering sector. 

Even in Italy we love to use these varieties, depending on the dishes prepared and the refined taste. 

Japanese hot sauce

In Japan, the hot sauce par excellence is wasabi. It is a typical green sauce with a very intense taste. 

In this type of oriental condiment, the basic ingredient is the root of the wasabi plant. Specifically, only the final part is used, without leaves, which is then immediately grated and used for spicy preparations. In fact, one of its characteristics is that it has a very high degree of spiciness, which however fades after a while after it has been harvested.

When it is not possible to prepare with the wasabi plant, horseradish which is part of the same family is used instead.

If you google “spicy sushi sauce” one of the proposed results is wasabi. In fact, the sauce is used a lot in Japanese recipes that accompany sushi and sashimi. But it lends itself very well to seasoning and enriching the taste of all sorts of tempura, even tempura noodles and soy noodles, salads and of course raw fish with which it goes perfectly.

Japanese hot sauce is not only good but also rich in beneficial properties for the body. Those who have tried it know well that the intense taste is accompanied by benefits on digestion and on the respiratory tract. It is also a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic. It also contains several vitamins and minerals.

Chinese hot sauce

Hot Chinese sauce has its own peculiarity: it has a slightly sweet and sour taste. It is well known that sweetness blends very well with spicy, indeed it is precisely that gem that makes this type of sauce so unique and appreciated even by those who cannot stand extremely spicy foods. 

Typical of the recipes prepared in Chinese restaurants that are also very popular in our country, the Chinese spicy sauce is also called chili oil. In its preparation only fresh chillies are used, finely minced and enhanced in taste by vinegar, sugar, seed oil and garlic.

We certainly know it because it enriches the taste of spring rolls or ravioli, but it is also excellent over grilled meat, vegetables and fried dishes.

Mexican hot sauce

And now we have come to the hottest and most loved salsa: Mexican hot sauce. The dishes brought to the table in Mexico just cannot do without it.

Here, in fact, we are talking about really spicy, tasty cuisine and with that plus that is given by the sauce that easily enriches any type of dish.

Nachos and tortillas, typical foods of Mexican culture that are now loved everywhere, without this condiment they are almost incomplete. Anyone who has tried them with or without hot sauce knows what we are talking about.

Meat, fish, vegetables, croutons and above all beans: these are all foods that go well with Mexican hot sauce for gourmet recipes with an intense flavour.

When it comes to hot sauce, tabasco immediately comes to mind, that typical bottled sauce that we often see in American films. But did you know that a Mexican plant is used to make tabasco? 

In the ranking that rewards spiciness, the typically Mexican Habanero sauce deserves a place of honor, which uses the homonymous pepper and is ideal for those who love truly exaggerated flavours.

Conclusion: curiosity and useful advice

If you are not used to eating spicy foods, you may find it difficult to use hot sauce, even in small quantities. But if you want to try and, in spite of yourself, your mouth and palate start to burn, all you have to do is drink a glass of wine. In fact, it is known that its flavor has the power to dampen the spicy one. 

Those who can't give up this condiment can also tone it down by adding a few drops of lime or other citrus fruit. Obviously only if the recipe allows for this additional ingredient without altering its flavour. 

We have come to the end of this memorable journey into the world of hot sauce. We want to leave you with a gem: it is said that food with spicy notes is also an aphrodisiac, thanks to the properties of some types of chili peppers.  

So be careful when you bring hot sauce to the table: in addition to the already listed benefits, there are also significant ones sexual benefits not to underestimate.