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Hot Sauce News: January 17, 2021

Welcome back to another edition of Hot Sauce News, the best in spicy, saucy and peppery news! If you enjoy yourself, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

National Hot Sauce Day Is This Friday!

That’s right, the biggest hot sauce holiday of the year is this Friday, National Hot Sauce Day. Some companies are already getting out in front of it with El Yucateco noting that they will donate the equivalent of 5,000 bottles of hot sauce to Feeding America. With National Hot Sauce Day on the way, how do you plan to celebrate?

Poh-tay-toes

Taco Bell Brings Back Fiesta Potatoes and the Spicy Potato Soft Taco

Yes, we know this is “hot sauce news” and not “fast food news” but the Fiesta Potatoes at Taco Bell were an early introduction to hot sauce on potatoes for us. Take some Fire or Diablo, spread it on top and stir it in and blam-o, quick spicy dish. While the Spicy Potato Soft Taco will not be much of a scorcher, we’re stoked to see these back on the menu. From reports you’ll be able to find them back in Taco Bell’s starting March 11 of this year. Who knows how long they’ll be back, but good on Taco Bell for hearing folks out. This is also their first step in 2021 of bringing more vegetarian-friendly dishes to the menu (insert “it’s not real meat” jokes here).

UConn Basketball Fan Helps Raise Money Drinking Hot Sauce

It started with a simple tweet that has now turned into nearly $10,000 in donations. Per The Eagle Tribune, Bryan Jackson wanted to pick people’s spirits up with a bet. If UConn came back to beat Marquette (down 18 points), Bryan Jackson said he would down a spoonful of hot sauce. UConn went on to win the game, Jackson held up his end of the bargain, and after going viral, got connected with The Husky Project to raise money for charity. As the season continues on, so too will folks taking spoonfuls of sauce to raise additional dollars. Good on Jackson for holding up his end of the deal and pretty cool that something like hot sauce can lead to helping a good cause.

Scientists Leverage Capsaicin to Boost Solar Cells

We don’t understand the full science behind this, but from what we can gather it sounds like the part of peppers that make them spicy helps with energy creation. The scientists involved found that once they added capsaicin, they witnessed “spontaneous formation of a p-n homojunction in perovskite active layer,” which took their solar cells to an improved efficiency of 21.88%, or nearly 3% higher than their control devices that measured at 19.1% efficiency. Again, not a real clear idea of what’s happening, just another cool scientific use of capsaicin!

How Hot is Too Hot For Breakfast?

Speaking of the benefits of capsaicin, Marks and Spencer (a grocer/health brand in the UK?) announced this week a new “Hot Shot” to get your morning going. Sporting orange, lemon, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne, the tiny bottle is intended to give your system a jolt when that afternoon lull starts to kick in. With a three-chili rating, and without seeing the full ingredient list, we’d expect this to hit hard in the back of the mouth, but not knock you out. Maybe a bit of sweat and some slight tongue tingles, but do it more for the health benefits than the spicy effects.

McCormick Making Hot Sauce Moves Headed Into 2021

You may have heard by now that McCormick bought out the parent company that owned Cholula Hot Sauce. If you hadn’t, well, consider yourself informed. That move in Q4 of 2020 put McCormick toward the top of the commercial hot sauce food chain. With Cholula in the fold, McCormick is now a hot sauce leader, responsible for the creation of Frank’s (and all Frank’s related sauces), French’s hot sauce, any of the Stubb’s lineup, and recently released Old Bay hot sauce. With McCormick scooping up so many sauces, we’ll rely on Tabasco, Huy Fong, Crystal, and El Yucateco to hold their ground.

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Cover photo by Julian Foglietti

 

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