Chilly Sauce

Chilly Sauce

Sauce refers to a thickened and flavored liquid which is produced to enhance the taste of other foods. It is not consumed by itself, but served as supplements to other dish in order to add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal. The ‘sauce’ is a French word which originates from the Latin ‘salsus’, meaning ‘salted’.

Majority of sauces need a liquid component, but some sauces like chutney or salsa, may contain more solid elements than liquid. Sauces are an essential element in cuisines all over the world. They are either cooked or made just before serving to add a little heat to your meal. ‘Saucier’ is a term used to describe a chef or cook who specializes in making sauces.

Chili Sauce
Chili sauce, also known as hot sauce or pepper sauce, is a seasoning sauce which is commercially made from chili peppers and other ingredients like salt, vinegar, etc. It is one of the most common sauces served as a supplement around the world. Available in various varieties, chili sauces are capable of adding a kick of heat and flavor to your favorite foods. We can’t even dream having a hot dog and many other snacks without this spicy sauce.
Varieties of Chili Sauce
Hot sauce or chili sauce is common in many chili-growing countries throughout the world. There are innumerable varieties of this spicy sauce which are usually classified by the peppers used and the amount of heat in the sauce, determined by the Scoville Scale.

In North America, pepper sauces vary by region. The Mexican hot sauce contains less heat in it, but contains more flavour than many other varieties. It is prepared by using smoky chipotle peppers as a base. Whereas, Louisiana-style pepper sauce, which is prepared by employing cayenne or tabasco peppers as the main ingredient, tend to be more hotter than other varieties.

Throughout the West Indies, a variety of versions exist. In most varieties, the scotch bonnet or habanero pepper is used to add heat to the sauce. Besides this, unusual ingredients, such as tropical fruit, cloves and limes are also added to add more flavours in the pepper sauce.

Asian chili sauce is usually used as a dipping sauce or an added ingredient in stir-fry, as opposed to the North American varieties’ prevalence as a condiment. The Chinese Duo Jiao, a Chinese sauce, is known for its extremely hot flavour. In Japan, chili sauces are often blended into soups and noodle dishes, or used as a dipping sauce for dumplings like gyoza. Vietnamese hot sauce based on Thai chili sauce but toned down, are made from sun-ripened chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.

All the sauces are created with the only aim of adding more flavor to the dish they accompany.

The basic sauces of ancient civilizations may have consisted of ingredients like vinegar, salt and oils with flavorings of olives, maybe figs or fruit pulps, or crushed seeds of plants like the sesame.

Today there are countless recipes of chili sauces in the world which differ on the basis of their ingredients, and the only thing they share in common is the use of chili peppers. To add extra heat, some additional ingredients are often used such as pure capsaicin extract and mustards.

Popular Chili Sauces and their Ingredients

  • Jalapeno: They are prepared by using green and red jalapeno chilis, and chipotle and are moderate in taste. Sauces prepared by  using red jalapeño chilis are generally hotter.
  • Cayenne/Chile: Sauces made from ayenne and/or other red chilis are usually hotter than jalapeno but milder than other sauces.
  • Tabasco: They are made with tabasco peppers and are generally hotter than cayenne pepper sauces. A number of “extra hot” sauces are also prepared by using a combination of tabasco and cayenne or other chili peppers.
  • Habanero: These sauces are almost the hottest natural pepper sauces, next to the Naga Jolokia, which are prepared for obtaining a hot kick. Generally they contain habanero chili only, or a combination of habanero and other peppers.

  • Other ingredients: The heat of a sauce is also affected by other ingredients. Many sauces contain tomatoes, carrots (in habanero  sauces), onions, garlic or other vegetables and seasonings. Generally, more ingredients in a sauce dilute the effect of the chilis, resulting in a milder flavor.
Heat Sensation in Chili Sauce
We experience the heat or burning sensation after consuming hot sauce because of a chemical component called capsaicin. This burning sensation is not ‘real’ in the sense of damage being wrought on tissues. It is instead a harmless chemical reaction with the body’s neurological system.

The measure of piquancy in a variety of pepper is taken by a method called the Scoville scale. This scale number indicates how many times something must be diluted with an equal volume water until people can no longer feel any sensation from the capsaicin. The hottest hot sauce scientifically possible is one rated at 16,000,000 Scoville units, which is pure capsaicin.