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Cool Down With Hot Sauce
Appetizers, sides, and main dishes burst with flavor thanks to this spicy condiment.
By Joy E. Zacharia, Southern Living

Hot Sauce TubHere's refreshing news about hot sauce. This chile-containing condiment temporarily speeds up your metabolism and cools you off. Capsaicin (the heat-causing chemical in chile peppers) causes you to perspire, especially on the head and face. As moisture evaporates, heat pulls away from the body, producing a cooling sensation. That's why so many dishes in hot climates are spicy.

But let's face it: The real reason we use hot sauce is because we love its taste and the rush we feel while eating fiery foods. One bite of these tongue-tingling recipes, and you'll experience new heights in zestful flavor.

High On Heat

I sampled many of these hot sauces straight out of the bottle. As I write with a glistening forehead and ruddy cheeks, here's my take on some. (Did I mention antacids make terrific palate cleansers?) After taking an informal coffeepot survey, I learned that Crystal, Tabasco (all flavors), and Louisiana Hot Sauce are tops with our staff.

Bruce's Original Louisiana Hot Sauce: super fiery -- gotta love high heat.
Buffalo Chipotle Mexican Hot Sauce: smoky and not too hot; great in mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or on grilled corn on the cob.
Cajun Sunshine: tangy flavor, not too hot.
Cholula Hot Sauce: smooth, tangy, and very flavorful; great on wings, quesadillas, omelets, French fries, and in cheese dip.
Crystal Hot Sauce: perfect blend of heat, tang, salt, and chile flavor. My absolute favorite; I can't eat pizza without it.
Hot Wachula's Cranberry: subtle cranberry flavor and very tasty; great for marinating meats or as a vinaigrette base.
Jump Up and Kiss Me Spicy Passion Fruit Sauce: sweet, hot, and contains no salt; great for sodium-restricted diets. Try it in vinaigrette-type dressings.
Mango Tango Sauce: subtle mango taste and very spicy; great over black beans and rice or in creamy coleslaw.
Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce: milder than the original with a tangy, lemon-like flavor; great over scrambled eggs, chicken chili, and quesadillas.
Texas Pete: not too hot and lots of flavor. Good and salty, and tastes great on wings, tater tots, and fried fish. The company has a wing sauce too.
Tiger Sauce: sweet, spicy, and loaded with flavor; try with grilled lamb chops or pork soft tacos.

Add a Dash

Here's what else is good with a bit of heat tossed in.
• pimiento cheese
• popcorn
• fresh pineapple, cucumber, and jicama
• creamy and broth-based soups
• steamed veggies
• tuna, potato, pasta, or egg salad
• deviled eggs
• gumbo
• smoked brisket

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