Monday, February 8, 2016

Hot Sauce Rules


Okay, Class, pay attention and take notes if you must.

When The Boss and I met a long time few years ago, we had a cultural clash in the kitchen. What started as a small thing as a ham sandwich for lunch turned into a pivotal moment. She grew up in a household where you matched the lunch meats with a certain type bread and certain condiments. I grew up in a home where any and all meats went between two pieces of white bread with American cheese, lettuce, and mayo. Being adventurous, I eventually tried her way and learned a lot about The Rules of Making a Sandwich, and was awarded with an expanded palate. (Although sometimes, I must confess, when she's not looking, I revert back to my old way for just for a bit of nostalgia.)

Now, using that as a segue, let me tell you about The Rules for Hot Sauce I've learned by both experimentation, observation, and basic research. For this first of many lessons, I'm just going to give you some simple basics:

1. Frank's Red Hot is for Buffalo Wings (due to the tang caused by vinegar  - origin - it's also one of the weakest hot sauces on the Scoville Scale)
2.  Srirachi is for any Asian based food (due to the added sweetness - myth's dispelled for those who are fad loyalists to a fault)
3. Tapatio or Cholula is for Mexican based food (neither vinegar or sweetness, just straight hot peppers)
4. Louisiansa Hot Sauce is for Cajun inspired food (obviously)
5. Tabasco is universal.

Easy enough, right? Keep that list handy until you know it instinctively. Eventually you'll find yourself experimenting with others, expanding your hot sauce horizons, and maybe one day you'll be able to handle ghost peppers with the best of us.

My personal favorite is Tapatio, but that's because I tend to favor Mexican food over other ethnic foods. (And I do not mean Tex-Mex, which is nothing more than American food with a cheap sombrero on). Sriracha is probably my least favorite because of the added sweetest that works in conjunction with the sweet-and-sour flavoring (of most Americanized versions) of Asian food. In fact, when the Sriracha shortage scare hit the U.S. a few years ago, I couldn't understand the panic, until I learned of the snobby fad for being a Fan of Srirachi and of those who insist on putting it on everything. (see the link above).


Well, Class, that's the bell. I have plenty more to talk about when it comes to hot peppers and sauces. So save your questions for the next session and be sure to exercise those taste buds based on today's lesson.

Until Next Time...
Watch this crazy video of 11-year-old Nick as he eats about a teaspoon of 14 different hot sauces, reviewing the taste and heat of each. A little father and son bonding with some healthy bragging.

Saucily Yours,
Michael