Peppers, which are often included in Louisiana hot sauce.
Louisiana hot sauce is a spicy condiment made by mixing hot peppers, vinegar, and salt to form a bright red sauce that is usually thin with a moderate heat level. Most growers pride themselves on making a product that provides some heat but is not too hot. There are many uses for this condiment, and it is famous for being included in many Cajun and Creole dishes; it’s also a feature of the classic Bloody Mary, a cocktail that mixes tomato juice, clam juice, vodka, and hot sauce for a fiery kick.
Some variations of Louisiana hot sauce use chipotle peppers.
Both cayenne pepper and tabasco pepper can be used to make Louisiana hot sauce. Some famous brands include Original Louisiana Style Hot Sauce, Tabasco®, Crystal and Frank’s Red Hot. Sauces made with tabasco peppers, such as the eponymous Tabasco® sauce, tend to be more spicy, while cayenne-based sauces can be more moderate. Many of these producers continue to manufacture their products in the state in which they are named; Tabasco®, for example, is still made on Avery Island, Louisiana, where some of the peppers for the famous sauce are grown.
Louisiana hot sauce is an ingredient in a classic Bloody Mary.
Most markets in the US sell at least one brand of hot sauce, while stores in the southern US often offer a variety. It’s also often found in places like cafeterias, where it can be placed on the table along with salt, pepper, ketchup, and sweeteners. Many consumers have a preference for a specific brand, as different companies use slightly different formulas with unique flavors and spice levels.
In most cases, Louisiana hot sauce is fermented and aged for up to three years in barrels with vinegar and salt as a preservative. Aging creates a distinct fermenting twist to the flavor that some consumers appreciate. By tradition, additional ingredients are not added as they would obscure the heat of the peppers and the natural flavor of the sauce. Some companies make variants with ingredients like chipotle pepper, which are slowly smoked to produce a unique flavor.
While this type of hot sauce is generally mild, some varieties have a positive effect. For people who aren’t used to hot sauces, it can feel unbearably hot. If someone gets their mouth full of hot sauce that is too hot for them to handle, squeezing some lemon juice into their mouth can help. The acid in lemon juice neutralizes the basic capsaicin in chili peppers, calming the reaction.