My husband was given a bottle of this hot sauce a few years ago. It’s from W.O. Hesperus Co., made right here in Portland, Maine. With a simple ingredient list (Red Savina Habaneros, cider vinegar, Maine sea weed & sea salt) and a heat level of 13 out of 10, it’s a flavorful sauce that packs a
That gift marked the beginning of a beautiful relationship. It started off appropriately enough: on nachos, with guacamole, in dips. Then one night the bottle appeared, uninvited, next to the soup bowl. Within a short time it was popping up by the pasta salad and heating up the roasted veggies. Even the omelets weren’t safe from its scorching. “It really enhances the flavor of lots of foods,” my husband says, as he sets the fourth new bottle in its place of honor next to his plate.
He’s also tried the Cocoloco sauce, which wasn’t as hot but had “great tropical coconut-y flavor,” and the Kick in the Nuts pistachios which were “tasty but would have been hotter if they’d removed the shells before seasoning them.”
The interesting thing about this culinary obsession is that in two years’ time, my husband has had one cold. While the rest of our household passes around viruses, he passes the Jolly Roger bottle: stirred in soups, tucked in tacos, muddled in macaroni. And never a sniffle. In fact, that solitary cold came within a week of running out of his beloved sauce.
I wondered if there was a good reason for his seeming immunity. While chili peppers are high in vitamin C—an antioxidant that may help the immune system—they also contain capsaicin, which may (according to WebMD) “help prevent bacterial infections” and “may also make mucus thinner and help move it out of the lungs.” If you’re exposed to a virus or bacteria, maybe that runny-nose-feeling from hot sauce is actually helping you throw it off. (And if you catch a cold, at the very least hot sauce will make you feel less congested.)
Of course, my husband’s story is just an anecdote, and I’m not saying this will work for everyone. But with my kids’ school flu clinics canceled and no rescheduled date, I think we all may start passing the bottle. Got hot?