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66 Fascinating Facts about Hot Sauce and Chilli

We know how much you like to impress your friends and family with all things related to hot sauce and chilli so we have created this comprehensive list of 66 facts about hot sauce and chilli peppers.

Just some fun facts and tidbits for you to store in that big brain of yours, so the next time you whip out the hot sauce, you can impress your friends and family with your extensive knowledge on all things hot sauce, pepper sauce or chilli. Try them out at your next barbecue or dinner party (and yes you can serve hot sauce at a dinner party!)

Interesting Hot Sauce and Chilli Facts #1 to #33

Interesting Hot Sauce and Chilli Facts #34 to #66

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#1 to #33

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Sorry to start with science...

Capsaicin (pronounced Cap-say-sin) is the active component responsible for the burn in chilies, you can buy this in powder form and it has a strength of 16 million SHUs…what are SHU’s you ask...

SHU...that's hot!

The heat of chillies is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The Scoville scale was devised by pharmacist Wilbur Lincoln Scoville in 1912. Yes, we can do proper Science at ChilliBOM!

Bursting with Goodness

Chillies have more Vitamin C than oranges with about 242mg every 100g compared to an orange which has 53mg for every 100g

The goodness does not stop

Chillies are also a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Iron, Copper and Potassium...all hail the chilli pepper

You Are Not Alone

One (1) in every four (4) people throughout the world eat chilli peppers daily, that's close to 2 billion people every day!

The Burn is all in the Mind

Capsaicin tricks you into thinking you are on fire by activating your brain’s heat receptor proteins. So just remember the next time you’re sweating from your eyeballs, it's not real!

Get High with Chillies

To counteract the tongue being burnt by chillies the brains secretes endorphins which produces a high and can lead to a very healthy chilli addiction


Bring on the Reaper

The Smokin’ Ed Carolina Reaper is the current Guinness World Record Holder for world’s hottest chilli measuring 2.2million SHUs on the Scoville Scale, it has been reigning champion since 2013

Are you f**ckin crazy

The most Carolina Reapers eaten in a minute was 120grams by Gregory Foster in the USA November 2016...that's equivalent in weight to 2 standard Mars Bars or a share pack of Smiths Chips!

Please wipe your forehead

The sweat that typically starts to bead on the brow when you eat hot sauce is a reaction called "gustatory perspiration" sometimes feels like your sweating out of your eyeballs as well...we don't know the name for that!


Switch a Chilli for a Carrot

Chillies have more Vitamin A than a carrot does... 

But Bugs Bunny better steer clear

Capsaicin is an irritant only for mammals that we well know produces a sensation of burning. In large enough quantities it can cause vomiting and many other nasty things as it travels through and then comes out the other end

The seeds are your friend

Contrary to popular belief, the heat in a chilli does not come from the seeds but from the interior veins

Hot Sauce for Sale

In the USA, the first commercially available bottled hot sauce was available for sale in 1807 in Massachusetts.

Are you a World Record Holder?

There is no current Guinness World Record holder for the Largest Collection of Hot Sauce

Maybe it's Vic

The biggest reported (possibly World Record) hot sauce collection is that of Vic Clinco from Phoneix Arizona who has over 6,000 bottles of hot sauce. You can find him on Instagram @pepperboy143


How old is your pepper?

Evidence exists that chillies have existed and were eaten in Central America and South Americas as long ago as 7000BC...that's one ancient chilli!

What are Chillies called peppers?

In 1493, Christopher Columbus, thought he was in India and thought he had found the plant that produced the black pepper. Well sorry Chris you were in North America and discovered the chilli...but "pepper" has stuck


Oil and Water don't mix

Capsaicin is not soluble in water, so if the hot sauce is too hot then water is not going to help you need other fatty type foods to get the job done


But Milk will douse the flames

Casein, the protein in milk, ice cream, sour cream and yoghurt breaks the bond that capsaicin creates with our pain receptors, so make sure to reach for dairy not water


Thank you Thailand

Sririacha sauce first originated in Thailand and has gained world-wide popularity, the other popular Thai chilli sauce is of course Sweet Chilli Sauce


chilli, chili or chile

Here in Australia (and UK) it is spelt chilli. You tend to see chili (with one 'l' in the US but chile is also very common


Learn when to Stop

A scientific journal reported that drinking 1.4Litres of hot sauce if you weigh 63kg or less will cause death by respiratory failure 


Don't mess with the Pepper Spray

Those pepper sprays you carry around in your handbag clock in at about 2 Million SHUs (about the same as the world’s hottest pepper Carolina Reaper) but, police grade pepper spray has a strength of 5.3M SHU, no wonder it burns so bad!


Chilli Dollar and Cents

Ancient civilisations used chillies as currency, with the Chiltepin chilli used as a tax payment to Aztec Emperors


A World Record is a World Record

The 7 Pot Infinity Pepper achieved the Guinness World Record in February 2011 with a 1.1 million SHU. It was beaten only 2 weeks later by the Naga Viper Pepper which came in at 1.38 Million SHU.


Hot Sauce in China

Tends to be a thick paste or chilli flakes in oil rather than a thin sauce but the style varies in every region with some varieties including pickled chillies.


Just a little hot capsicum

Chillies belong to the plant genus you get that capsicum fruitiness just with that extra kick


Size does matter

Generally, the smaller the chilli the hotter the burn, all the world record holders are under 7cm long


Excuse me are there chillies in that

To be considered a true hot sauce the sauce has to be made from chilli peppers.


The secret to Kimchi

Lies in the Korean chilli pepper known as the gochu. It is combined with glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt to make a thick, sticky, red paste called Gochujang that coats the cabbage in Kimchi


Chillies work out in the gut

Chillies stimulate gastric juices and aid in digestion. Just don’t go overboard or it will aid that digestion a bit too much!


Ease your way in to the world of chilli

A jalapeño is 250 times milder than the World's Hottest chilli the Carolina Reaper. It ranges in heat from 3,500 to 8,000 SHUs on the Scoville scale


Nature's Viagra

Chillies are a vasodilator, which means more blood flows to your tower


More than just a dried out Jalapeño

Chipotle are smoke-dried jalapeño peppers and form the basis for many hot sauces in Mexico, they add a distinctive smokiness as well as the spiciness when used in a hot sauce


Diet Chilli

All chillies are low in sodium and calories, so are natures "Lite" alternative


That even curbs your appetite

Hot peppers can help curb your appetite especially for sweet and fatty foods, but it could also be because your mouth is on fire and you just can't put anything else in!!


It's OK to cry

Hot sauce and chillies stimulate nerves in the eyes and nose producing tears and making your nose run. Well, that’s what we tell everyone when we weep in agony when the burn is too much to bear.


The versatile fruit

Chillies can be dried, smoked, pickled, brined and of course made into a hot sauce


Capsaicin is the rub

Capsaicin applied externally has analgesic properties, can relieve arthritis and other aches and pains and is used in ointments and lotions.


Caribbean Hot Sauces

The most commonly used peppers for making hot sauces in the Caribbean are habanero and scotch bonnet, both close cousins in the chilli pepper family


The bonnie Jamaican

The scotch bonnet chilli is most recognisable for its shape: a small, rounded, creased pepper coming to a round point in the middle… something like a pom pom at the top of hat...and this is where it gets it's name because of its resemblance to a Scotsman's bonnet


A true Champion

The Red Savina Habanero held the Guinness World Record for Hottest Pepper from 1994 to 2007 with 580,000 SHUs a quarter of the strength of the current world record holder the Carolina Reaper


Blair's 16 Million Reserve Crystals

Is the hottest substance you can buy commercially, the jury is out on whether this is technically a hot sauce. It contains 1ml of pure capsaicin and is 16Million SHUs on the Scoville scale. Not to be consumed straight and when you do use it (preferably as an additive in cooking) with extreme caution.


World's Hottest Hot Sauces

Depending on how you classify a hot sauce this could vary. For pure extract based "sauces" you have Blair's 16 Million Reserve and The Source (7.1 Million SHUs). For sauces with both natural chillies and extract you have CaJohns Get Bitten Black Mamba Six (6 Million SHUs) or Da Bomb The Final Answer (1.5 Million SHUs)


An ancient cure for toothache

Before they had laughing gas readily available, the Ancient Mayans rubbed chillies on their gums to cure toothaches.


Bird's don't feel the burn

A birds' receptor cells are insensitive to capsaicin, which means birds can spread chilli seeds far and wide without suffering we poor mammals do. Isn't Mother Nature wonderful! 


Keep your chillies on ice

Fresh chillies can be frozen in a plastic freezer bag for months. For an easier way to cut them take them out of the freezer and chop them frozen


Blair's Death Sauces and Extracts

Blair's are famous for their extract based products. With sauces made from pure pepper extract like 3AM Reserve and 2AM Reserve plus sauces combining both natural chilli and extract called Blair's Death Sauce starting at the 'Ultra Death' all the way down to 'Sweet Death'


Elephant Repellent

In parts of Africa, farmers use chillies to deter elephants from raiding their crops because elephants can’t stand the smell


Spicy Kisses

The longest Habanero Pepper Kiss at 1 minute and 41 secs was set on 11 June 2016 in Mexico by Carly Waddell and Evan Bass on the TV Show Bachelor in Paradise, where the couple ate Habanero Peppers and then had to kiss.


Bashido code: loyalty, courage and chilli

Samurai ate chilli before battle to reduce fear and feel invincible


The chilli pepper of Peru

The Aji Chilli is the chilli pepper of Peru is a very fruity, almost citrusy in flavour and ranges in heat from 1,000 to 75,000 SHUs. Peruvian Chef Gaston Acurio named the chilli the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking. Varieties include the Aji Panca and Aji Limon


Don't forget to chew

Patrick Berlotti ate 275 pickled jalapeños in 8 minutes, to claim the world record..good on him...anyone interested in taking him on?

Economical chilli

The name for the 7 Pot chilli comes from the fact that one of these chillies will heat 7 pots of stew, so not only is is deadly in heat it is also very economical you'll have enough food for a week!


Because your worth it

Aztec women would combine chillies with urine to make a beautifying skin cream

Pepper Roulette

The shishito pepper is a Japanese chilli that is normally mild in like a bell pepper but one in 10 is as hot as a jalapeño. Has the makings of a very good drinking game

Stop the Bleed

Cayenne Pepper can sprinkled onto minor wounds or soaked into bandages to help stop the bleeding


Soup of the Devil

Spanish priests called the first chilli "the soup of the devil". They believed that chilli peppers where an aphrodisiac so they had to be the spawn of Satan!


The Ghost Pepper

Bhut Jolokia aka ghost pepper from India was the first chilli to ever hit 1 million SHUs on the Scoville scale in 2006. It sits between 855,000 to 1,041,000 SHUs


Oldest Hot Sauce

Tabasco introduced in 1868 is the oldest surviving hot sauce brand sold in the USA today


African Hot Sauce

Chilli arrived in Africa in the 15th Century and has gone to create some great hot sauces across the continent like Awaze in Ethiopia, Shito in Ghana and Harissa in North Africa across Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Libya


Habanero the best for Hot Sauce

The average habanero pepper rates from 1000,000 to 350,000 SHUs on the Scoville scale and in ChilliBOM's humble opinion makes the best of the best hot sauces. It has the perfect balance of both heat and fruitiness that can be used in all styles of hot sauce to give you both burn and flavour


Pepper Sauce vs Hot Sauce vs Chilli Sauce

Across many English speaking countries the names are usually interchangeable a recent survey by ChilliBOM showed a very strong preference for "hot sauce" with 61% of Australian hot sauce lovers voting this their preferred name


Australian World Record Holder

The Trinidad Butch Taylor Red (aka Butch T) was the hottest chilli in the world in 2011 to 2013 and was grown in Morrisset New South Wales, Australia by The Chilli Factory, the secret to its heat was said to be worm poo. It was overtaken by the Carolina Reaper in 2013


Back to Science

We started with science so we will finish with it the molecular formula or capsaicin is C18H27NO3

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