Humans have consumed hot peppers since as early as 7500 BC. You would think, perhaps, that after such a long period of time every hot sauce company would be using the perfect pepper—a pepper mastered over nearly 10,000 years of trial and error. Yet this is not the case; every year millions of bold flavor-seekers are disappointed by brands which choose to ignore the rich history of chili peppers.
History has taught us that one of the most important things to consider when growing peppers is the climate, and thus the location, of the pepper farm itself. Of course each variety of chili pepper has its own perfect microclimate, but virtually every chili pepper does best in warm weather when exposed to plenty of sunlight and grown in a moist but well-drained soil. To produce the strongest possible peppers, farmers and casual gardeners alike must beware of overwatering their crop; peppers produce more capsaicin, the chemical source of that eye-watering heat we crave, when they are stressed for water and nutrients. The chili pepper—the fruit of Capsicum plants—first flourished under these very conditions, having originated in Mexico before its many varieties spread throughout Central and South America, where indigenous farmers perfected each species of pepper over thousands of years.
In 1492, Columbus and his crew became the first Europeans to experience the pungency of chili peppers. Having immediately seen the value of their flavor Columbus brought peppers back to Europe, where they quickly spread to Asia. Now, many companies turn to China—which produces almost 50% of the world’s green and chili peppers—to source their ingredients. In fact, China has dominated the production of peppers for so long that 18th-century taxonomists called habanero peppers Capsicum chinense, or the Chinese Pepper, because they believed habaneros originated in China rather than South America. HOT LADY refuses to turn its back on either quality or tradition, which is why we source our chili peppers from South America and produce our pepper sauce in the United States.
So what makes HOT LADY Hot Sauce so good? Maybe our peppers grow in the perfect heat. Maybe our farmers plant them in the perfect soil. Maybe it’s a finely-tailored intensity and flavor profile. Though the exact location and microclimate of our peppers—a microclimate the Hot Lady herself insisted our peppers grow in—is one of the best-kept trade secrets in the world, with the full recipe known to only our founder and the Hot Lady herself, we can say that our perfect peppers respect the traditions of those who dared to experience true heat before us.
Check back regularly for more posts about HOT LADY Hot Sauce, the Hot Lady’s legend and legacy, and delicious recipes.