We are, indeed, feelin’ hot, hot, HOT with these smokin’ sauces, but have you ever wondered where they came from? Discover the humble beginnings of some of the world’s most famous spicy condiments and learn just what the mustachioed man on the Tapatío bottle stands for.
Ah, the ol’ go-to hot sauce. Aged in barrels originally used for Jack Daniels Whiskey, this spicy topper has been a favorite since it was first created in Louisana by Edmund McIlhenny in 1868. Lucky for us, McIlhenny’s original use of cologne bottles to distribute the stuff has been replaced by the bottle we all know and love today.
This mildly spiced hot sauce is named after the 2,500-year-old city of Cholula, Puebla, the oldest city in Mexico that is still inhabited. While it was originally produced for three generations in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico (not Cholula) as an ingredient of sangrita, it wasn’t until 1989 that it was introduced to the United States!
A West Coast native, Tapatío was first created in 1971 by Jose-Luis Saavedra, Sr. in Maywood, California. The sauce owes its name to its Guadalajaran founders as “Tapatío” is the name given to people from Guadalajara. Oh, and that man on the bottle? He’s an artist’s rendition of a stereotypical “Tapatío”, though the founders did not share the same moustache/sombrero combo.
Yet another salsa from Mexico, Valentina is known more for its taste than its hotness. First introduced in 1954, Valentina originated in Guadalajara and is made with water, chili peppers, vinegar, salt, and spices and is very popular on fresh produce. Though it is mainly popular in the Mexican community, it is making its way into mainstream society…and onto Salma Hayek’s popcorn.
Sriracha aka “Rooster Sauce”
While sriracha is originally from Thailand, the “Rooster Sauce” variant we all #cantstopwontstop loving was created in 1980 by David Tran in Los Angeles, California. Tran was a Chinese refugee of Vietnam granted asylum in the United States when he first introduced his sauce to restaurants in LA’s Chinatown. It was only a matter of time until the delicious condiment gained in popularity and became the bigwig it is today. Fun fact: The rooster on the bottle corresponds with the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac when Tran was born.
Frank’s Red-Hot Sauce
Another hot sauce veteran, Frank’s has been around since its creation in Louisiana by Jacob Frank and Adam Estilette in 1920. The men originally concocted the sauce by mixing spices, vinegar, garlic and cayenne peppers and allowing them to age. Frank’s is also famous for being the primary ingredient in the first buffalo wing sauce, created in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar and Grill in Buffalo, New York.