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The Cult of the Hot Sauce
By Kate Hopkins, Accidental Hedonist

Painful Look I don't pretend to understand everything surrounding the food world. People who have to have every happy meal toy? I don't have any idea what their motivations happen to be. Those who folks who save beer cans? I have no clue what's on their mind. People who let food magazines sit around for months on end?

Okay, I understand that.

But there is a group of folks out there who I can appreciate, but I certainly cannot understand their level of passion. I speak of those who love hot sauces.

You may think you love hot sauces. But trust me, the fire that motivates these folks is a step beyond. They have their own blogs, their own secret society, and they hold special festivals.

I want to fully understand, I truly do. But the names of these products make it difficult for me to take them too serious. Take a gander at some of the names I found for some sauces:

• Colon Blow "A Red Habanero Enema"
• Show Your Tits Hot Sauce
• Ass Blaster Hot Sauce
• Rectum Ripper XXX1/2 Hot Sauce

I don't think myself a prude, but I am going to think twice before I pick up a bottle that says "Rectum Ripper" anywhere upon the bottle, hot sauce or no.

But hey, that's just me.

I understand that a great many of these similarly named hot sauces are novelty items, and not really produced with...ahem... good taste in mind. Some folks out there are keen to simply mix up some seeds with a vinegar sauce and call it "Oh-my-god-your-intestines-are-going-to-fall-into-the-septic-tank brand Hot Sauce" and send it off to Spencer's gifts. The question for me is: How do you find a good hot sauce without dealing with the fakes and hacks of the hot sauce world?

The trick, as with any produced product out there, is to look at the label and see what tastes intrigue you and go from there. A recent trip to a Kitchen store produced these two products:

D. L Jardine's Blazin' Saddle: Made with Habanero Peppers, Carrots, onions, Lime juice, vinegar, Garlic and Salt.

Scorned Woman Hot Sauce: Vinegar, water, peppers, lemon juice concentrate, salt, black peppers and Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, and Sodium Benzoate.

The winner of the two? From where I was sitting it was The Blazin Saddle by a long shot. But that's strictly my own opinion.

There are at least two things that are at play within the Cult of the Hot Sauce, taste being one. The other is how hot the sauces can get. This all comes back to the capsaicin we talked about previously, When that capsaicin hits your tongue, it sends pain signals your brain. Your body, in order to deal with said pain, releases endorphins which then causes a mild euphoria. Mix good flavor with a bit of euphoria and you have a decent Friday night going for you.

My point here is that there's a bunch of silliness out there in the hot sauce world, but there's a fair amount of great stuff out there, if you look for it. The cult can be your friend. In fact, one can say that they've already blazed the trail.
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