Earlier this week, we talked about how hot sauce has hit the mainstream market with great vengeance and furious anger, with over 50% of American homes having one flavor or another of it on hand. Statista, the Statistics Portal, says that “hot sauce sales are the eighth-fastest growing industry in the U.S. Sales were $1.07 billion in 2012 and are projected to be $1.32 billion in 2017.”
I know this is great news. You know this is great news. What I’m wondering is, why is this happening? I love to get my burn on but setting your mouth on fire isn’t for everyone. Is it the endorphin rush brought on by capsaicin? The machismo factor of seeing just how much heat it takes to break you? The ever-increasing range of options for spicing up your food? A space alien conspiracy combining rectal probes and two-day burn?
Personally, I think all of those reasons mixed together like the filling of some great burrito in the public eye is half the cause. Except for maybe that last one. The other half: media coverage. Between all those ghost pepper challenges at restaurants, hilarious YouTube clips of people in tear-filled hot sauce agony, and shows like Man Versus Food, chile fire is burning hot right now.
The only thing lacking is a Food Network program dedicated to chiles. Someone really should get on that…