Technically, I have three that qualify as a true hot sauce. Red liquid which is dolled out drop by drop to add zing to many a bland dish. But, when tallying the condiments in my refrigerator which are hot and spicy, the total is now seven. If one were to include the items in my pantry which lend heat to cooking, the count is now thirteen!
"The Scoville scale is the measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes. The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test. The modern commonplace method for quantitative analysis uses high-performance liquid chromatography, making it possible to directly measure capsaicinoid content."
In my refrigerator I have Sriracha which I use to spice up Pho or any of the mild, kid friendly stir fries I cook. I have Tapatio sauce, awesome for Mexican cuisine. I have Roland Red Curry Paste for Indian and Malaysian foods. I have Louisiana Hot Sauce for everything else! In addition, I have Chinese hot mustard, Italian hot giardiniera (delicious on salad!), homemade pepper jelly, pure ground red pepper (when an Indian recipe calls for chili powder - this is what they mean), paprika, black peppercorns and my favorite for flavorful heat, fresh ginger.
Peppers are something that I grow every summer as they are very adaptable to changing temperature and water situations. I typically grow one habenaro plant, as it will produce almost 100 peppers. I also grow jalapenos, bell peppers and banana peppers, which are wonderful in cucumber salad.
One day each fall I will make jelly and can them as my grandmother taught me. I also freeze the fresh peppers for use throughout the winter in chili, stews, and roast meat dishes. If you want to decrease the burning heat while retaining the distinctive pepper flavor, cut the chili in half and remove the seeds and the white interior membrane.
Note: Wear Gloves! Particularly when dealing with habenaro peppers!
Hot sauces. Even if you don't love them, it's a great idea to keep one or two in your fridge for showing some heated love to your food. How do you spice it up in the kitchen?