Hot sauce is a funny thing. It has the same effect on the body as basically setting it on fire from the inside out.
Today we’ll explore what puts the heat in hot peppers, and why so many people across the globe challenge themselves (or anyone else who’s unfortunate enough to be around them) with hotter and hotter sauces.
[what puts the heat in hot sauce?]
Chili peppers originated with our neighbors to the south, in Mexico and Central/South America. For thousands of years, these pepper plants evolved like most plants: with the singular focus to spread their seed as far and wide as possible.
But, instead of having a hard seed to protect it as it went through the, eh-hem, digestive tract of mammals (like most other fruit plants), chili peppers evolved to keep from getting eaten. At least by those that would destroy the seeds before “dropping” in the most beneficial place.
So these little soft seeds are surrounded by a fleshy membrane that’s laced with the Devil’s oil: capsaicin. What we think of today as a challenge is the pepper’s survival mechanism.
Birds, however, don’t feel the hell that’s going on inside humans.
Without the ability to grind seeds with their beaks, and being able to fly miles instead of feet to drop seeds, birds are the perfect pepper carriers.
Over thousands of years, these first peppers evolved and spread across the Americas, where natives started spicing their own foods with them.
And once Columbus landed in 1492 and brought the first peppers back to Portugal….
[why do people like hot sauce]
Sometimes I ask myself the same thing about people who like to skydive. Or bungee jump. Or ride in a car on the highway with their 85-year-old grandma behind the wheel.
It’s the rush. The thrill of the fact that if something goes wrong, you might die. Staring down the barrel of a bottle of Doomed and not blinking.
In a word, it’s from the endorphins.
Those little neuro-molecules that give you the sense of pleasure even in the face of utter, disastrous pain.
Once the fire starts burnin’, these endorphins and adrenaline are dumped into the bloodstream, creating a “fire high” that can also have an addictive effect. Which is why people who eat a lot of spicy food tend to eat hotter and hotter spices.
[can hot sauce hurt you]
I’m no doctor (obviously), so definitely don’t take this as medical advice.
But even though chili peppers and the hottest of sauces can burn like the Devil himself set up shop in your guts, it shouldn’t cause any lasting effects. Unless you have an allergic reaction to the capsaicin.
Extremely hot peppers (especially to those who aren’t used to stuff measured in the millions on the Scoville Scale) can cause irritation on your skin and mouth, and even worse out the back end. Which is why you can and should handle these peppers with care (as in use gloves and a mask if you’re cooking with ‘em) and use sparingly until you get used to it.
And as a good rule of thumb: Heed the warnings on the bottle. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
[our hottest hot sauces]
Finally we come to the fun part: how you can get your hands on the hottest sauces on the planet.
We’ll do this in reverse countdown style for our top four hottest sauces, starting with…
[4 – First Blood]
An extremely hot all-natural (extract-free) sauce loaded with tons of peppers and no additional vinegar. One of our personal favorites with the straight up flavors of the peppers including Trinidad Scorpions, Primo 7-pot, Bhut Jolokia, and Carribean Red Habanero Peppers. Thickened up with sun-dried tomatoes and a special blend of spices, First Blood’s definitely an 8/10.
It’s thick and hot, how we like our sauces.
[3 – Fear This!]
A super hot all-natural featuring the glory of the Caronlina Reaper. Fear This! was featured in the #9 spot on the internet sensation show Hot Ones a few years ago. With a mash ratio of over 60% Carolina Reaper, you can’t get much hotter than this. To add some flavor to the fire, we finish it with tomato, onions, garlic, tomatillos, lemon, ginger, plus a special blend of spices.
It’s a 10/10, so be afraid. Be very afraid.
[2 – Fiery Fool]
Our hottest all-natural sauce, and also featured in the #9 spot on Hot Ones. This sucker’s mash ratio is over 80% of the world’s hottest peppers, including the Trinidad Scorpion, 7-Pot Primo, Ghost Pepper, and Carolina reaper. Finished with sun-dried tomatoes, spices and just a splash of lemon juice, it’s no doubt a delicious 10/10.
But don’t be a fool, use with caution.
[1 – Doomed]
Now we get past the superhot into the crazy hot.
Undoubtedly our hottest sauce, Doomed is spiked with 6.66 million SHU pure pepper extract. This also makes it the hottest sauce you can get on the market (that’s not a pure extract).
Lab tested at 2.76 million SHU, just a drop will do it. Any more and you may be Doomed!
We’ve taken our top 4 and rolled ‘em up into one bundle
for you to create your own hot wing gauntlet. Just use with caution. Once those endorphins start flowing, you might not be able to stop!