With all of the options in hot sauce currently on the market, it may be hard to remember just how tough we used to have it. You know, when buying hot sauce wasn’t just a click away. These days it’s certainly never been easier, with options on store shelves from coast to coast and your favorite flavors online. But there was a time that hot sauce wasn’t on the Internet and store shelves were mostly bare of spicy hot flavors.
While it’s widely suspected that the origins of hot sauce can be traced back thousands of years, the first commercially produced hot sauce in the US took a while to make its way to store shelves. It’s said that first happened in the 1800s, with the biggest splash in the market being the introduction of Tabasco sauce. Packaged up in tiny bottles, its original maker is now celebrating 150 years of business, with the three-ingredient recipe virtually unchanged in all this time. A combo of Tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt, the recipe was first created around the same time as the end of the Civil War, but it’s now enjoyed by hot sauce enthusiasts not only from coast to coast but also around the world.
Of course one single manufacturer and flavor was hardly enough to satisfy the spicy taste buds of hot sauce enthusiasts. The early 20th century brought on a new round of manufacturers and hot sauce, becoming even more popular around 1980 with the mass marketing of Sriracha sauce. Flash-forward a few more years and the hot sauce market began to truly catch on fire. These days you’ll find all kinds of new creations aimed at shaking up the hot sauce world, with new blends and flavors sure to set your mouth on fire and leave hot sauce enthusiasts begging for more.