The Origins of Hot Sauce

Published: 25th May 2012
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Even though it is firmly a popular in many people’s diets with some people becoming positively addicted to it, hot sauce retains some fairly large misconceptions about the location where the sauce originated from with many believing it to arrive from Parts of asia like India and others believing that it started its life within the America’s in countries like Mexico or the Deep South of USA. These areas are relatively famous regarding their spicy take on food nevertheless the questions still remains where did hot sauce actually originate from?

Many individuals make the case that Mexico could be the true home and birth place of current day hot sauce especially since Mexican cuisine is famous for its bite and spice. Lots of the recipes in their dishes require a splash of hot sauce. Mexico may be the birth place of certain hot sauces including more flavoursome types such as chipolata heavy sauces to give all a uniquely individual flavour. You can find some evidence to suggest that The Aztecs living in Southern Mexico were using a type of hot sauce going back to around 7000BC, however rather then using this “sauce” for food purposes the tribe were using it as a variation of medication thus and thus the modern day hot sauce intended for everyday consumption was not evolved from Mexico.

Another misconception that surrounds peoples idea about the birth place of hot sauces is they were invented and marketed first in India before becoming worldwide popular however once again there is an argument against the fact that the modern day hot sauces we enjoy today were not technically derived from this area. It is widely believed for example that Columbus brought peppers and chillies to Europe and India where then they happened to be highly popular for their unique and unparalleled flavours at that time. Lots of people enjoyed the spicy tastes of this foreign food and began adding it with a number of foods and more importantly sauces. However there is absolutely no evidence to prove that individuals around these areas or time created unique sauce with the peppers instead they added the peppers to the sauce to supply a kick which means hot sauce that we know and love today wasn't invented within these areas.

However one area that could lay a real claim to be home of the hot sauce is the USA itself with a great deal of the evidence pointing that the hot sauce was produced (in large quantities) there first with a little help from Britain! In the early 1800’s The British Lea and Perrins Company released a sauce which is still available to this date in Worcestershire Sauce which came to USA in 1849, this sauce was to have a large influence over the history of the modern day hot sauce because of its vast popularity!

It had been a guy named Edmund McIllhenny who started the cogs in the hot sauce machine rolling with his fascination with gardening blooming he went about getting his hands on some rare pepper seeds to raise on Avery Island near New Orleans. Enjoying the unique taste of the peppers and seeing the prosperity of the Worcestershire Sauce he aimed to make a sauce based off of his peppers. In 1868 he succeeded in his quest and made what can be considered the 1st true modern hot sauce which a lot of people still know and love today, Tabasco Sauce named after the town that Edmund was residing in at the time. It was with the success of Tabasco that many other imitators stemming from the Deep South of America started to show up including Trappey’s Hot Sauce who had previously been an employee of Edmund.

There even though many areas may lay claim to having hot sauce originated from it the true area that can lay a legitimate claim because of the fact the process and ingredients are still used to this date in sauces is simply not Mexico nor Asia but The United States of America!

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