Actually, true to the genre of sauces all over the world, the hot sauce is not simply an accompaniment but does honors as the prime ingredient in many dishes.
The term hot sauce couldn’t have been more apt for it refers to any hot and spicy sauce made from cold peppers or cold extracts and vinegar. Therefore, you can have sauces made from any kind of cold pepper (i.e., the fruits of crops hailing from the Capsicum family) like red peppers, habanera or tabasco. The Tabasco sauce is the most popular amongst all the hot sauces out there.
How hot your hot sauce is going to be is dependent on the type of pepper being used. Therefore, you have the bell pepper with a barely-there flavor at one end of the spectrum and the robust habaneros, which will work up quite a steam, at the other end. Interestingly, it is a substance called capsaicin, which imparts the characteristic heat to the pepper.
The hot sauce is a favorite constituent in many Mexican and Cajun dishes and in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. However, its most widespread use is, as a barbecue accompaniment.
Barbecue sauce is poured onto grilled or barbecued meat. It is also used as a dipper. A hot barbecue sauce is usually a blend of sweet, sour and spicy elements and the most popular combination contains tomato flavorings, vinegar and sugar.
Barbecue sauces come in myriad forms, with every region boasting of the native BBQ sauce. So you have the fiery Texas variety with a tomato base, the tomato and vinegar based Arkansas variety tempered down by molasses, the white mayonnaise based Alabama type and the black pepper, mustard and vinegar concoction hailing from South Carolina.
For all the fire they spew, hot pepper sauces are simple to prepare.
Simply take a few peppers (the number wholly depends upon how hot your sauce will be) such as habanera or tabasco, a cup of water, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 bell pepper, a tablespoon of paprika, salt to taste and cumin if you so desire. Chop or grind the peppers and boil it with all the ingredients. Your hot pepper sauce is prepared.
Some peppers are nothing short of live ammunition and are known to cause skin irritation and are especially nasty when they get into the eyes.
There is more to a pepper than just the tangy flavor. Peppers are storehouses of vitamins A, C and E, potassium and folic acid. So aside from the distinct taste, the hot sauces also impart some nutrient value to the dishes that they grace.
The hot sauce holds its own in whatever dish it seems. As they say, like it or loathe it, you simply cannot ignore it.