Cool Stuff About Hot Sauce

January 31, 2017


astronauts eating hot sauce in spaceHot sauce is frequently on the menu for astronauts in space. Why? Because without gravity, the fluid distribution in an astronaut's body changes, blocking the nasal passages and therefore the ability to smell and a sense of smell is important for tasting food. So hot sauce and other strong tasting condiments are frequently used by astronauts in an attempt to give their food so flavor. Wouldn't it be fun to send some Kaitaia Fire Hot Sauce up to the International Space Station?!

red hot chilli pepperOur taste buds respond to sweet, salty, sour and bitter so when we eat peppers we’re not ‘tasting’ them as such - capsaicin is in fact tasteless and odourless. Capsaicin has an irritant effect on our pain receptors which we can feel anywhere on our skin, not just our tongue. The reason why so many people love hot sauce is the pain causes a release of endorphins, and endorphins are pleasurable.

samurai eating chili before battle2Speaking of endorphins, legend has it that Japanese samurai would eat chili peppers before going into battle so that they feel fearless! Perhaps with all the endorphins released they also felt less pain since capsaicin overwhelms the nerve system so that the body can't transmit pain signals to the brain, and it also desensitizes the skin's sensory receptors.


can birds eat hot chili peppers Unlike humans, and other mammals, birds receptor cells are insensitive to capsaicin so birds can eat extremely hot peppers without burning their beaks. This is a chilis natural way of increasing its chance of survival. The seeds go through birds undigested and with a birds ability to fly, the chili seeds get dispersed properly. When mammals eat the seeds, they would either be destroyed by their molars, digested in their guts or if they do go through the animal's system, it's probably deposited close to the parent plant.

red hot chili pepper egg New York Chef Dan Barber organicKnowing that birds don’t react to capsaicin, innovative farm-to-table, New York chef Dan Barber regularly fed his hens high-carotenoid chili paste mixed in their food. The result? Fiery red eggs!

old hot sauce advertisingThe first hot sauce available in the USA was in 1807 and Tobasco is America’s oldest living hot sauce brand. It was first introduced to America in 1868 so it shares the honor of being one of America’s oldest living brands along with other old-timers such as, Levi Strauss (1873), American Express (1850), The New York Times (1851) and Tiffany and Co (1851).


Kaitaia Fire Hot Sauce 2 pack5Ounce for ounce chili peppers contain more Vitamin C than oranges and more Vitamin A than carrots. In fact, chilis have lots of health benefits, and a 2015 study found that people who ate chili everyday had a 14% decrease in mortality. Furthermore, the smashing or raw chilis to make hot sauce can help release some of the beneficial compounds.


scoville scaleChili heat is measured in Scovile Heat Units (SHU), a somewhat subjective scale created by American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville in 1912. Bell peppers, which have been cultivated to be sweet and low in capsaicin, have 0 SHU. Cayenne peppers, used in Kaitaia Fire Chili Sauce are around 30,000 - 50,000 SHU. Habanero peppers, used in the Waha Wera Habanero and Kiwi sauce are hotter, from 100,000 up to 400,000 SHU. The peppers that are being bred to rival the world’s hottest pepper are getting up over a million SHU and law enforcement grade capsaicin used in pepper spray is 5,000,000 SHU.

7mouth on fireCapsaicin is an oil, and we all know oil and water doesn’t mix – so when your mouth is burning, water will just spread the heat around. Casein, a protein found in milk, yoghurt and cheese will help cool it down – or if you prefer, wash your hot curry down with a beer. The alcohol breaks down the capsaicin and the carbonation and coolness also helps ease the heat.


huevos rancheros made with Kaitaia Fire New Zealand hot sauceOne out of 4 people in the world eat chili pepper every day particularly in geographically hotter climates such as Mexico, India, Thailand and sub-Saharan Africa. Salmonella can take much of the credit for this. Thousands of years ago people worked out that capsaicin kills food poisoning bacteria and so chilis were added to food to stop people getting sick. Bacteria grows faster in the heat so it became more important in hotter climates than, for example, the less spicy cuisines of Northern Europe.

#New Zealand #natural ingredients #sustainably sourced #organically grown #eco-friendly #Hot Sauce #Waha Wera #organic chili pepper sauce #organic habanero sauce #Unique food gifts #fun foodie facts #New Zealand Food in the USA


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