What is Hot Sauce?
Hot sauce is a thin spicy condiment made from hot peppers. The heat level can be mild or scorching, depending on the types of peppers used. The color is often orange or red, some are green. The texture is slightly thick, but pours easily. The flavor can be hot and vinegary, or hot and smoky, among many other variations. The one characteristic that unifies all hot sauces, is that each one has some level of heat. It is used to add a spicy hotness to everything from tacos to fried rice. Hot sauce is typically paired with Latin and American dishes, but is an applicable condiment for many cuisines.
What does Hot Sauce Taste Like?
...Salty is one of the five main tastes. It has a satisfying and addictive quality with hints of sourness. Salty foods include cheeses, cured meats, chips, and olives. It is used in almost every dish and prepared food. Salt is added to enhance flavor and offer a distinctly salty taste.
...Spicy is a flavor that brings heat and fire to food by creating a burning sensation in the mouth or sinuses. Spicy flavors come from hot peppers, horseradish, and wasabi. Spicy adds a kick and sometimes complexity to a dish and releases endorphins, creating a mildly addictive quality.
...Cayenne is a small and moderately hot chili pepper. When mature it is bright red in color and has a thin tapered body that is between 2-3 inches long. On the Scoville heat scale for hot peppers it is considered 'scorching'. Cayenne has a crunch to it when raw, though is best cooked to reduce the heat of the plant, it is also sold as a powder. This hot pepper is used commonly in Central and South America, as well as Africa.
...Vinegar is made from alcohol. It can be made from wine, fermented apple, grains and other sources. Healthy bacteria is used to ferment this product. The final result is a thin liquid used to season foods. All vinegar is sour. White vinegar has a sharp sour flavor and is clear. Red wine vinegar is a clear red color and tastes a bit more rounded. Balsamic vinegar is dark red or brown and tastes rich, fruity and sour. There are many other kinds of vinegar, each with its own unique flavor profile. Some types of vinegar are suited to specific flavors and cuisines. It is used in sauces and in dishes both sweet and savory.
...Salt is a mineral composed mostly of sodium chloride. It is the main flavoring used in food and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as cheese, beets, meat and celery, plus many others. Salt is white and has finer granules than sugar. Many commercial salts include iodide, while others exclude it. Most salts are white, while some are naturally pale pink with minerals. Salt brings out the flavor of something and can create a tangy mouthfeel, if used in excess.