Are you into entertaining? Maybe you are lucky enough to have a group of friends who take turns wowing one another with delicious, home-cooked meals and fun evenings spent around a table. If so, then you are probably on the lookout for new ways to liven up meals, drinks, and even desserts.
If that is the case, then you should consider using the hot sauce in your recipes or bringing hot sauce as a gift. In fact, world-famous lifestyle and entertainment expert Martha Stewart even says you should, explaining that “The next time you go to a party, leave the wine behind and show up with something hot – hot sauce, that is.” Of course, as I said, you can also “give” hot sauce as a gift by using it to make drinks or dishes at an upcoming get-together.
Why emphasize hot sauce at all? For one thing, it sits high on the many different lists of food industry trends. For a few years now, people have been giving more and more attention to hot sauces, even though they are a significant part of many world cuisines.
As most trends do, this began with a rise in popularity in what might be described as the “basic” hot sauces or those that used chilies, salt, and vinegar strictly. Today, though, all of that has changed, and a hot sauce gift can include artisanal batches of amazingly rich and flavor-filled sauces.
These gourmet hot sauces, as a prime example, are all-natural, made with locally grown ingredients, and inspired by cuisine from around the globe. Packed with unique blends of flavor, they include fiery original flavors as well as trendier fruit-infused options. Low in sodium and without any added sugar, they are the ideal way to use hot sauce as a gift at your own table or to bring in a nicely wrapped package.
Foods and Drinks
And before you think or say that you are not likely to grill up meats, or that your friends are not serving grilled dishes, keep in mind that hot sauces are far more diverse than you might realize. Yes, they are a fantastic glazing agent for meats, poultry, and fish; before, during, and after grilling, but you can use them in far more creative ways.
One way that I like to give hot sauce as a gift to my guests is to serve the unique cocktails and drinks that count on the hot sauce to give them a depth of flavor and a kick of heat. For example, you can make a spritzer that uses hot sauce as part of the blend, or a classic whiskey sour that relies on the heat of hot sauce for a wonderful edge.
After all, you may not know that consuming hot pepper actually leads to a mild sense of euphoria. It’s true! This comes from the natural ingredient in all hot peppers known as capsaicin. It causes the body to release “feel good” chemicals like endorphins. This is to counteract the “heat” of the pepper, and it is a natural anti-anxiety and anti-depressant. It is why so many of us crave a spicy meal at the end of a trying or difficult day!
It’s gift-giving time
So, why not give hot sauce as a gift to your guests in the form of a spicy cocktail, robust main course, or even as a nicely wrapped jar of a gourmet brand like Gemma’s. You can introduce them to a new and unique way to flavor foods of many kinds, and even encourage them to start using this condiment to add new dimensions to basics like dips, sauces, sandwiches, salads, eggs, and more.
Originally published on Caribbean Green Living on December 13, 2017.