Hot sauce

It’s hard to imagine a world without hot sauce. The zesty, fiery condiment has become a staple in cuisines around the globe, adding a boost of flavor (and heat) to everything from chicken wings to tacos. But where did hot sauce come from? How did it become such a beloved staple?

The answer, it turns out, is a long and complicated one. The history of hot sauce is a story of immigration, colonization, and cross-cultural exchange—one that spans centuries and continents.

Hot sauce, in its most basic form, is simply a mixture of chili peppers and vinegar. This combination can be traced back to the Aztecs and Incas, who used it as both a condiment and a weapon. The Aztecs, in particular, were known for their “petin,” a sauce made from chili peppers, water, and salt.

Jump to: Ingredient Breakdown Insights

Recipes

  /public/thespruceeats-logo.svg

Mango Hot Sauce

  • ginger
  • lime juice
  • orange juice
  • habanero pepper
  • salt
  • garlic
  • apple cider
  • mango
  /public/bonappetit-logo.svg

Yemenite Green Hot Sauce (Zhug)

  • spice mill
  • salt
  • parsley
  • black peppercorn
  • coriander seed
  • cumin seed
  • cardamom
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • cilantro
  • lemon juice
  • serrano chile
  /public/bonappetit-logo.svg

Pumpkin Hot Sauce

  • pumpkin
  • apple cider vinegar
  • lime juice
  • allium confit
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • ají limo chile
  • ginger
  • garlic
  /public/bonappetit-logo.svg

Kashmiri Hot Sauce

  • spice mill
  • kashmiri chili powder
  • salt
  • tomato
  • fennel seed
  • sugar
  • brown mustard seed
  • white vinegar
  • red chile

Ingredient Breakdown

 
salt
garlic
white vinegar
sugar
lemon juice
lime juice
olive oil
cilantro
red chile
water
parsley
jalapeño
honey
ginger
habanero pepper
spice mill
cumin seed
apple cider vinegar
tomato
carrot
bell pepper
hot red
orange juice
apple cider
mango
coriander
cumin
fresno chile
red wine vinegar
black peppercorn
coriander seed
cardamom
serrano chile
cheesecloth layer
pumpkin
allium confit
ají limo chile
white
oil
onion
ancho chile
spanish onion quarter
red tomato
habanero chile pepper
blackberry
blueberry
cheesecloth glass layer
achiote seeds be found
smoked paprika
achiote seed
harissa
tomato paste
kashmiri chili powder
fennel seed
brown mustard seed
xanthan gum
chipotle morita pepper
chia seed
watercress
garlic powder
nasturtium
red fresno chile
red habanero chile
garlic oil
fresno chile pepper
tamari
chili pepper
green onion
jalapeño chile

Insights

Staple Ingredients

  • salt 62%

Common Ingredients

  • garlic 57%

Usual Ingredients

  • white vinegar 33%

Rarey Ingredients

  • sugar 24%