I have seen numerous lists of recipes that use hot sauce and so many articles on what hot sauces can do to everyday meals that I almost think the subject is exhausted. I have also seen blog posts on odd uses for hot sauce other than food consumption so I have decided this article should find a happy medium.
Aside from the obvious, adding heat or spice to a dish, there are a few more reason why you may want to introduce hot sauces into your everyday eating habits. I have written articles on the health implications that hot sauce can provide but here are a few more you can explore.
1. Flavors a bland meal
I LOVE white rice. OK ok…like it. I will have to admit on its own is does not do much for me in the way of flavor. White rice is famously bland and always comes to life with a sprinkle or Tabasco or Franks Red Hot. Fried vegetables with white rice are a quick, easy and healthy meal I cook for my family and I like the option of adding hot sauce to flavor it up some more. My wife and kids do not like the heat as much as me so I leave it off while I am cooking and put it on side (or more like drown) my plate.
Any meat dish will come alive with a little dash of hot sauce and I like to use it when I grill meat. A little goes along way and mixed with other flavors such as lemon or lime can make your food pop with flavor.
Although I love plain eggs I love them more with a dash of hot sauce. I don’t use a lot but I seem to love the tanginess it can do to an otherwise healthy but somewhat flavorless meal. I cringed the first someone told me they did this to their eggs. Find the right sauce for you and it is delicious.
2. Ads a unique flavor
Most condiments will have a specific flavoring and many hot sauce varieties are distinguishable in their flavorings as well. A buffalo wing hot sauce can instantly give any dish that distinct buffalo chicken wing flavor. Perhaps you have a Caribbean dish that would pair well with a habanero-based sauce.
There are so many different combinations of flavorings being introduced recently that hot sauces are competing with standard condiments as standing out among themselves. I don’t use hot sauces exclusively in my cooking but when I do there is always a standout flavor that it produces.
3. Interesting table talk
The consumption of hot sauce will get you and your companion something to talk about during your meal much like a beer tasting or wine paring can do. I can sit and dine with my buddies (more like standing at the bar) and we have plenty to talk about but if we want to “spice up” the conversation it always gets roaring when we add a new hot sauce.
If you are on a second or third date with your companion and you have both discovered you like spicy food, hot sauce can be a great neutral connection during your meal. It’s a common interest you have or possibly the other party would enjoy your selection and introduction into hot sauces.
4. Guest at a gathering
Ever attend a work function and things are just different. By different I mean boring and you can’t wait to leave. Bring hot sauce. If you have a delicious hot sauce you have made, bring it to your function especially if there are people from other departments you may not know as well. This is a great way to start a conversation with people who may or may not like hot sauce. Also, an opportunity to exchange recipes if you do bring your own.
Bring a lesser known sauce with a funny name to a work function. There are more hot sauces with amusing names than any other condiment products. Although beer labels are a close second sauces like “Ass in the Tub”, “Bite Me Lime Cilantro”, “Queen of Farts” and “Satans Blood” could certainly move conversations in other directions. Bring a bottle of this to your next work function or church gathering and see how red everyone’s face gets (and not just from consuming sauce).
The list goes on and on but explore your own amusement here. Lets face it ketchup and mustard doesn’t have anything on some of these product label. Others, such as “Bomb Laden Mad Blast” come with a turban for the top. Who cares what they might taste like.
5. Compliments ethnic cuisine
If you are cooking Asian or Mexican a hot sauce is typical of foods that come from these regions and will certainly compliment the foods it is used with. Its almost a no brainer but beans and rice are always complimented by dash of Cholula hot sauce.
Any spicy hot sauce mixed with sour cream is a great dip for tortilla chips or you can spice up your salsa even more with a couple dashes of hot sauce. Almost any Mexican or central American dish has room for a complimentary sauce designed to contribute to the reasons your consuming foods from these regions.
6. Introduction to Asian, Mexican or Domestic Cuisine
Although I like to go beyond simply buying ethnicity in a bottle, some hot sauces today are a quick and easy introduction into ethnic flavors. More and more of these ethnic flavors are being added to grocery shelves and will soon become staple items on dinner tables through out the US.
Harissa is a hot sauce growing in popularity from North Africa. Scan the ethnic food isles in your local grocery stores for more ideas on ethnic cuisine. Harissa has the consistency of a paste and will easily introduce flavors from Africa with these simple recipes.
Sauces from Indonesia, the Philippines, China and Thailand will give you an introduction to some different taste combinations and different way the heat is introduced. Although these sauces may not always be authentic you can certainly enjoy a quick introduction into foods that are consumed from these regions.
Every sauce can have different consistency such as Gochujang, a Korean paste based with red chili powder. Gochujang fried rice is a simple meal combination that instantly introduces the unique Korean flavorings into your cooking.
New domestic hot sauces are being introduced as well and is a good way to keep up hot sauce trends in America. Some of these sauces such as a “Beer, Bacon Chipotle” from Scotty O’Hotty offers a taste of flavor combinations right from your own back yard.
7. Everyone’s doing it
I have written numerous blog post about the popularity of hot sauce, the consumption increasing and flavor combinations being explored. Don’t eat hot sauce because everyone else is. Although I have been introduced to a lot of things I may not otherwise explored.
However, consuming a Sriracha because it’s there may not necessarily allow you to understand the phenomenon, but you can certainly engage in an intelligent conversation with someone about its flavor, heat level or reasons you did or didn’t like it otherwise. Don’t you wonder why you can buy flip flops with the Sriracha logo on them.
There are many reasons to consume hot sauce aside from just adding heat to chicken wings. Hot sauces are being introduced more and more and the industry is only growing so explore some possible reasons you may want to start consuming or simply buying hot sauce more.