10 Fun Hot Sauce Facts. January 25 2015

When it comes to hot sauce lovers, you get two kinds of people: occasional users and hardcore, die-hard fans. The die-hard fans travel from state to state, attending awards and openings. They have tried and tested every brand and type of hot sauce they can get their hands on, and if you’ve heard of it, they’ve more than likely tasted it. Hot sauce is more than just a condiment-it’s a culture. If you’re still new to the world of hot sauce, here are 10 fun hot sauce facts that you may not know:

1: Introduced commercially to the market in 1868, the Tabasco hot sauce brand set off America’s hot sauce obsession, and is still one of the leading hot sauces today.

2: Ever wondered why hot sauce is so addictive? Eating chilis and hot sauce causes your body to release endorphins (the brain’s ‘feel good’ chemical). This is because capsaicin (the stuff that makes chilis hot) irritates the nose, mouth and stomach. Your body reacts by releasing endorphins, a natural painkiller that your body produces.

3: Even though hot sauce has such an effect on your body, they aren't bad for you, contrary to some beliefs. In fact, chilis are cholesterol free, and loaded with vitamins.

4: A little bit of cool general knowledge: that sweaty reaction you get when indulging in hot sauce is called gustatory perspiration.

5: Drinking milk is the best way to cool down an extra hot burn. This is because a protein in milk (Casein) breaks down the bonds between capsaicin-the stuff that makes hot sauce hot-and the body’s pain receptors.

6: The scoville scale, which measures how hot your hot sauce is, is named after Wilbur Scoville, the man who developed this scale.

7: Mexico grows an incredible 140 varieties of chilies.

8: Looking to lose a few pounds? Hot sauce and chilies can actually curb your carb cravings and sweet tooth.

9: Does size matter? Generally, the smaller the chili, the hotter it is.

10: This may come as no surprise to hot sauce fans: hot sauce can be addictive.

Our favorite condiment is rich in culture, history and interesting facts. A combination of science, food and pleasure. We’re not surprised, though; we at THSC fall into the ‘die hard hot sauce fans’ category!