Monday, September 1, 2014

Hot Sauce, A Louisiana Tradition, 1807 - Part 4

Blogger's Note: There are many choices for a Southern palate when it comes to hot sauce in Louisiana.  Here is a tribute to some old favorites, and to the surprising new trends in food condiments that are cropping up in all of the high-demand kitchens in the Crescent City.  Enjoy!

From the Cosmic Chile website:

"A sauce made in the Louisiana tradition generally uses three key ingredients: hot peppers, vinegar and salt.  According to Hormel Foods, Louisiana hot sauce is defined as 'a hot sauce made with red hot peppers, vinegar, salt and special spices.'

Of course, there are variations. Many of Louisiana's hot sauces are made with cayenne peppers, but McIlhenny has come out with different hot sauces made from different chilies including habanero and chipolte, smoked jalapeno peppers.

One of the first growers of Tabasco chilies - so named for the region in Mexico where they reportedly came from - in the United States was Colonel Maunsel White, a prominent banker and Louisiana legislator. He grew the hot peppers on his Deer Range Plantation just before and during the Civil War.

Folklore has it that the Colonel made the first Louisiana hot sauce, and soon gave the recipe and some chilies to his friend, Edmund McIlhenny." 

This accounts for chilies being introduced to Louisiana, and how hot sauce was originally concocted, but where does the famous Louisiana Hot Sauce fit into this narrative?

From the Bruce Foods website, maker of Louisiana Hot Sauce:

"ORIGINAL Louisiana Hot Sauce, from Bruce Foods in New Iberia, LA is the original cayenne pepper sauce of Louisiana with an eighty year reputation for quality and perfection that no other hot sauce can claim. Although Bruce Foods’ Louisiana Hot Sauce was the first hot sauce to use the state’s name, over the years the name Louisiana Hot Sauce has become a generic term requiring the creation of special markings to denote our Brand from its many imitators.

The Brand now uses the word 'ORIGINAL' in its name, along with the famous Red Dot on the label. What makes the Brand so special besides being first is the fact that it continues to use the time-honored techniques that have distinguished Cajun cooking since the Acadian settlers first arrived in Louisiana in 1755."

Continue Article: | History of Hot Sauce - Part 1 | History of Hot Sauce - Part 2 | History of Hot Sauce - Part 3 | History of Hot Sauce - Part 5 |