Fermentation and health benefits
Our Hot Sauces are fermented. Some hot sauces are made with powdered spices and others are made by boiling chillies, but we believe that fermented hot sauces like ours taste a lot smoother and natural.
Using the fermentation process takes a lot longer and costs a lot more money to make, but we think it’s worth it. The fermentation process also means that we can keep our sauces as natural as possible. All that goes into our hot sauce is fermented chillies and organic apple cider vinegar. Fermented Hot Sauces also have many health benefits.
Once we have picked out the pepper, we remove the stems and chop the peppers into small pieces. This flesh is then placed into a fermentation jar with salted water. All the grandfathers of Hot Sauce making recommend using Kosher Salt for a better ferment - so that’s exactly what we use.
At this point you can get creative and make your hot sauce unique by adding garlic, other spices or flavours. A glass weight is then placed on the chillies to make sure they are all submerged, the lid goes on and we let them ferment for about one month, or a little longer. After a month we take the fermented chillies and blend them with organic cider vinegar to make the Hot Sauce and then bottle it - it's as simple as that.
Hot sauce is full of probiotics, bacteria that are beneficial to our bodies. Studies show that hot peppers kill up to 75 percent of bacteria in our bodies. The most common bacteria in hot sauce, is lactobacillus.
Lactobacillus help break down food and absorb nutrients in our bodies. They also kill a lot of the bad bacteria that we have in our guts. Hot sauce also has capsaicin in it. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that gives hot sauce its most well-known attribute: its spiciness. This spicy sensation causes a rush of endorphins that can work as a type of pain reliever. Doctors have been known to prescribe this to patients suffering from arthritis.
Another helpful component of hot sauce is vitamin C. Vitamin C has been known to lower blood pressure. Doctors also have said that those who consume more vitamin C have a lower risk of heart disease.
Carotene is another important substance found in hot sauce. Carotene breaks down into vitamin A through the digestion process, which is a kind of antioxidant.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria, so by consuming fermented foods you are adding beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, increasing the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and enhancing the immune system.
Digestion and absorption
As some of the sugars and starches in food have been broken down through the process, fermented foods are easier to digest. For example, fermentation breaks down the lactose in milk to simpler sugars – glucose and galactose – which, if you are lactose intolerant, can make products such as yogurt and cheese potentially easier to digest.
Synthesis and availability of nutrients
Fermentation can also increase the availability of vitamins and minerals for our bodies to absorb. Additionally, by boosting the beneficial bacteria in your gut, you are promoting their ability to manufacture B vitamins and synthesise vitamin K.
A large proportion of the immune system is housed in the gut. By consuming probiotic-rich foods, you are supporting the mucosa (gut lining) as a natural barrier, making the immune system more robust. A lack of beneficial bacteria allows disease causing microbes to grow, causing inflammation in the gut wall. If you have recently taken a course of antibiotics, probiotic foods are particularly helpful.
Some natural compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients can be removed by fermentation. Phytic acid, for example, which is found in legumes and seeds, binds minerals such as iron and zinc, reducing their absorption when eaten. However, phytic acid can be broken down during fermentation so the minerals become available.
Mood and behaviour
The gut and brain are linked, through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Technically called the enteric nervous system, the gut is lined with neurons that can influence our emotions and feelings. Serotonin – a neurotransmitter involved in mood – is made in the gut and research further suggests that as probiotic bacteria contribute to a healthy gut, they are also linked to a healthy mind.
THE HISTORY OF HOT SAUCE
The history of hot sauce goes back over 6000 years ago to Mexico, Central America and South America.
It was in these regions that hot peppers were first discovered and eaten. Chili peppers were more than common in the diets of Early Americans.
Although archaeologists are unable to confirm or deny whether these Americans fermented their hot peppers 6000 years ago, it is probable that they did. Fermentation was first confirmed in the 16th century, when hot peppers were first transported all around the world.
During that time, explorers found the hot peppers from the Americans and brought them back to Europe, Asia and Africa. It is at this time that researchers can confirm fermentation was taking place. In order to preserve the peppers, they were fermented and turned into hot sauce.
Hot sauce became a new and popular condiment in Europe, Asia and Africa used to add flavor to traditional meals. However, it wasn’t until 1807 when the first commercially bottled hot sauce was sold.
Tabasco sauce was first created in 1868 and is the only original hot sauce from that time still available today.