National Hot Sauce Day!
January 22, 2024
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 22 of January, repeating indefinitely
It’s National Hot Sauce Day! 🌶🌶🌶 Did you know that hot sauce has deep American roots? Chilis were domesticated in present-day Mexico around 5000 B.C. The Aztecs and Mayans combined chili peppers with water to make an early hot sauce. With increased trade and colonialism in the 1500s, chilis soon spread across the world.
Though colonial southern cooking integrated hot peppers for a little spice, the hot sauce didn’t become widespread in the United States until the 1800s. One of the most recognizable brands, Tabasco, is still very popular today. Most hot sauces contain chili pepper, vinegar, salt, and some combination of spices.
Did you know? Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hot peppers in their gardens.
Jefferson’s correspondent, Samuel Brown, sent the President some bird pepper seeds (tiny spicy red peppers native to the South) and described the pepper’s use:
“The Spaniards use it in fine Powder & seldom eat anything without it. The Americans . . . make a pickle of the green Pods with Salt & Vinegar which they use with Lettuce, Rice, Fish, etc.”
Red Peppers, Antonio Sicurezza, 1974