A Quick History of Hot Sauce

A Quick History of Hot Sauce

Everyone here is brought together by one thing: Our love for spice. 

But if you’re like me, you have a borderline compulsive need to learn the origins of everything. How did something come to be, why is it here, why do we exist?

In relation to hot sauce: “Where the hell did this stuff come from?” 

So, here is a quick history of hot sauce. 

Hot sauce has an extensive legacy, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and Mayans. The first hot sauces were made by grinding chili peppers and other spices into a paste, which was then used to flavor food and preserve it for longer periods of time. 

While the exact origins of hot sauce are not entirely clear, many historians believe that it was first made in Central and South America, where chili peppers were abundant. The Aztecs, for example, are known to have used chili peppers in their cooking as early as the 16th century, and the Mayans are believed to have used chili peppers even earlier. 

Over time, hot sauce became popular in many different cultures and cuisines. In the Caribbean, for example, hot sauce was made by fermenting peppers with salt and vinegar, while in Louisiana, hot sauce was made with a mixture of Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. 

In the United States, the popularity of hot sauce really took off in the 20th century. One of the most influential hot sauces was Tabasco sauce, which was first produced in Louisiana in the 1860s on their own small island. Avery Island is still the home of Tabasco production today. 

If ya’ll buy enough sauce, we can make our own spicy private island. Who’s with me? 

Today, hot sauce is a popular condiment around the globe with more varieties and flavors than you could count. We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank Hot Ones in part for this recent boom in popularity, but I know most of us OGs have been slathering this stuff on food since we were tiny. 

So why was hot sauce first made? 

There are many theories, but most historians believe that it was initially used as a way to preserve food. In ancient times, refrigeration did not exist, so people had to find other ways to keep food from spoiling. Chili peppers were found to have antimicrobial properties, which helped to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Additionally, hot sauce was used as a way to mask the flavor of spoiled meat, making it more palatable. Times were tough, I get it. 

Over time, hot sauce became more than just a way to preserve food. It became a way to add flavor and heat to create dynamic dishes, and it became an important part of many different cuisines and cultures. Today, hot sauce is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and it continues to evolve and change as new flavors and ingredients are added to the mix. 

Ross’s Sauces (that’s me and mine) are made with a variety of flavors, cultural influences, and all natural ingredients to enhance your favorite dishes - carrying on the centuries old love for hot peppers. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.