32 Hot Sauces around the World
Many years ago I attended the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show in Albuquerque, NM. I hate to say the date but it was back in the early 2000s. It was obvious that hot sauces were a growing trend and soon to be found everywhere.
Since I am obsessed with food culture I began researching hot sauces around the world and naturally attempting to try as many as I could on my travels. Now I have to admit I’ve been training my tastebuds to take hot sauces and increase my level of ability to handle said heat.
The history of hot sauces around the world is fascinating, to say the least, and it spans continents and cultures.
- 32 Hot Sauces around the World
- Hot Sauce Faqs
- 32 of the best hot sauces from around the world
- Hot sauces from the Americas & Caribbean
- Tabasco – USA
- Salsa Borracha — Mexico
- Chipotle Sauce – Picante, Berkeley
- Melinda’s Hot Sauce – Mexico
- Marie Sharp’s Hot Habanero Sauce – Belize
- Cholula Hot Sauce – Mexico
- Maritime Madness – Prince Edward Island Canada
- Habanero Salsa – Yucatan
- Salsa Lizano – Costa Rica
- Bajan Pepper Sauce – Barbados
- Valentina – Mexico
- Pickapeppa – Jamaica
- Ají – Ecuador
- Hot sauces from the Americas & Caribbean
- Asian hot sauces around the world
- Hot sauces around the world – Europe
- Fear the Reaper by Rock a Doodle Do – Northern Ireland
- Piri-Piri – Portugal
- C’momo – Nepal
- Thecha – India
- Pima Krazé – Mauritius
- Biber Salçasi – Turkey
- Nando’s Peri-Peri Hot Sauce – South Africa
- Shatta – Egypt
- Abkhaz Adjika – Georgia
- Chermoula – North Africa
- Skhug – Israel
- Zhoug/Schug – Middle East
- Harrissa – Tunisia
- Awaze Sauce – Ethiopia
- Filfel chuma – Libya
- Egusi Sauce – Central African Republic
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Who invented hot sauce, you ask?
No surprises here it was the Aztecs who really invented hot sauces when they combined the locally growing chilli peppers with water and used the resulting ‘sauce’ for cooking, medicine, to pay taxes and even as a weapon in wartime.
In the 1500s when Latin America, Mexico and South America were invaded by the Spanish the conquerors returned home laden with chillies, tomatoes, chocolate and other items like gold stolen from the indigenous people of the regions.
It was Portuguese missionaries that took the chilli to Japan and from there it spread to other Asian countries including Korea. It was Turkish merchants travelling the spice and silk routes that brought chillies to Hungary where over the centuries it became paprika in several versions including hot.
At the time Hungary was controlled by the Turks the Hungarians loved the flavour of the chillies but not the heat. They removed the seeds and dried the pepper which was then ground into what they named paprika. To this day, Hungary is the only country in the world with the specific micro-climate needed to grow paprika peppers of the highest quality.
In 1807 the first advertisement for a hot sauce appeared in a Massachusetts newspaper – hot sauce arrived back in North America. It was during the Mexican-American war that soldiers were experiencing the heat of chillies for themselves and bringing them home to states such as Louisiana which is probably how the first Tabasco seeds came to the USA. Since that time the types of hot sauce have grown exponentially.
Measuring hot sauce heat levels
In 1879 Edmund McIllhenney got a patent for the Tabasco Hot pepper sauce and history was made. But it was in 1912 that Wilbur Scoville created the Scoville Index by measuring the heat in chilli peppers through the capsaicin levels found within the peppers.
Hot Sauce Faqs
What is the world’s hottest sauce? The world’s hottest hot sauce comes from the USA and is called Mad Dog 357 Plutonium No. 9 and comes in at 9 million Scoville Hotness Units (SHUs).
How many different hot sauces are there in the world? There is said to be over 120 brands of hot sauce around the world but personally, I think there is way more than that.
What types of hot sauce are there? There are hundreds of types of hot sauces that range from thick pastes to more liquid bottled sauces. Many chefs and cooks make their own versions of hot sauces combing a myriad of ingredients but all will include some type of chile.
What is the world’s most popular hot sauce? Sriracha is said to be the top hot sauce in 31 states, and its sales completely dominate the west.
How do you spell Chili?
Chili, Chilli, or Chile are interchangeable but the American spelling comes from Carne con Chili or meat with chilli.
How do you get rid of chile heat?
If you have partaken of a chile dish that is just too hot – do not try to disperse the heat through water or beer that just spreads the oils that are the main source of heat. The best heat killer is dairy be it milk or ice cream and it may take a lot of it.
32 of the best hot sauces from around the world
Hot sauces from the Americas & Caribbean
Tabasco – USA
I love trying local hot sauces when I travel and have sampled and bought many from around the world. One place that epitomizes hot sauce is Avery Island and visiting the Home of TABASCO pepper sauce is one of the best things to do in Lafayette Louisiana. Just driving onto Avery Island awakens your senses, as the air is filled with the pungent scent of the iconic Tabasco sauce.
For a more intense experience, walk into the factory and storehouse areas on a self-guided walking tour. While on Avery Island, make sure you explore the Tabasco museum (a lot of Tabasco memorabilia and history), the Tabasco gift shop (buy some spicy lollipops!), the classic Southern USA property (including gorgeous oak trees and a bamboo forest), and especially make sure to visit the Tabasco Restaurant 1868.
Over a dozen bottles of Tabasco products sit on every table so you can try any or all of the Tabasco varieties on your red beans & rice, sausages, and other Cajun food items. Contributed by Charles of McCool Travel/US Gulf Coast Travel.
Salsa Borracha — Mexico
Mexico is synonymous with salsas and different types of hot sauces. There are many to choose from, in colours ranging from red and green, to and sometimes even yellow.
One of the most unique salsas that you’ll find in Central Mexico is salsa borracha. Literally meaning “drunk sauce,” it traditionally includes pulque (pronounced pull-kay), a pre-hispanic alcoholic drink made with fermented agave.
Pulque is commonly produced in Central Mexico, hence why you’ll usually only find salsa borracha there. In parts of the country that don’t make pulque, some people use beer in their salsa borracha instead.
You’ll usually only receive it to accompany barbacoa (shredded, smoked barbecue meat), one of the best traditional Mexican foods. You can find barbacoa in many places throughout Mexico, but it’s said the best barbacoa comes from the state of Hidalgo in Central Mexico.
Besides pulque or beer, salsa borracha is made with smoked pasilla chillies (a dark red chilli pepper), fresh-squeezed orange juice, onion, garlic, oregano and additional spices. Contributed by Shelley of Travel Mexico Solo.
Chipotle Sauce – Picante, Berkeley
Fortunately for me, my favourite hot sauce is made just a few miles away from my home by one of my favourite restaurants. Picante, in Berkeley, California, claims to be the largest taqueria in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In good times it is always crowded, so that claim is probably true. I come back again and again for my favourite dishes–crispy chicken flautas made with flour tortillas, and super burritos stuffed with everything–and I always slather them with my all-time favorite chipotle sauce.
Though I don’t know their secret recipe, I do know that chipotle salsa is made with tomatillos and/or tomatoes, onion, garlic, and the critical ingredient–chipotle peppers–as well as a few spices. Some recipes include a surprise such as raspberries or oranges. How you prepare those ingredients and in what proportions is the crucial formula for achieving a memorable smoky, spicy flavour. And Picante has got it just right for my taste buds.
Though the sauce isn’t bottled, I usually purchase a house-filled container of it along with some super-good chips to take home with me. I am salivating as I write! Contributed by Carole of Berkeley and Beyond.
Melinda’s Hot Sauce – Mexico
“Melinda’s is a hot sauce from Mexico is a popular brand that creates a range of authentic sauces that are designed to set your mouth on fire with flavour. Originally created by Marie Sharp outside of her farm in Dangriga, Belize in 1981, this hot sauce brand prides itself on being one of the widely available off-the-shelf sauces that use purely natural ingredients. In other words, this hot sauce does not contain preservatives or added colourings to contribute to the flavour.
I found this sauce whilst backpacking Mexico and tried it for the first time in a Pizza shop and began adding it to my slices of Pizza. What I love about this sauce is that although the heat is intense, you can enjoy still enjoy the flavor or if you’re not a fan of heat, you try one of the less spicy sauces such as the Mango pepper sauce which I recently purchased.” Contributed by Dan of Latin American Backpacking.
Marie Sharp’s Hot Habanero Sauce – Belize
The best hot sauce I ever found on my travels comes from the humble little country of Belize, which is located along the Yucatan coastline next to Mexico. I was blown away the first time I tried it during my Belize backpacking trip – not only does it have eye-watering spice levels, but the flavour is also well-rounded and pairs perfectly with local rice, beans, and plantain dishes. The base flavours consist of habanero, carrot, garlic, and lime juice. Luckily the hot sauce is well-loved by many local Belizeans, so it’s common to find it on the table at many larger restaurants across the country.
I purchased a bottle of Marie Sharp’s to bring home with me from Belize, but unfortunately, it was confiscated from me at the airport in Mexico. Just a few steps away from where security took it from me though, the airport gift shop sold the same bottle of hot sauce! I grudgingly purchased another one for about three times the price of buying in Belize.
The greatest surprise for me came after I returned to Houston, Texas. At Fiesta Mart, a Latin American supermarket chain in Texas, I found all different types of Marie Sharps hot sauces in stock! I bought one of each and lived in hot sauce heaven from that point on. Contributed by Erika from Erika’s Travelventures
Cholula Hot Sauce – Mexico
Cholula is manufactured in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. The Hot sauce was named after the city of Cholula, Puebla which is known to be the oldest city in Mexico going at 2,500 years.
There are 5 different versions of the original Cholula hot sauce. The Original is a mix of piquin and arbol peppers with spices and vinegar. There is a Cholula Green which is Jalapeno and poblano based and a Cholula Chipotle along with a Cholula Chilli-Garlic and Cholula Chilli Lime sauce.
Maritime Madness – Prince Edward Island Canada
Some of the best hot sauce I’ve encountered is in an unexpected place: Prince Edward Island (Canada). I never expected to fall in love with their hot sauces and now they’re my go-to and I find myself ordering from them online.
This premium, gourmet hot sauces are made in-house and with 35 varieties on offer, you’ll be hard-pressed to try just one. If you visit their market stall in downtown Charlottetown, you’ll be able to sample whatever intrigues you.
Of course, not all hot sauces are the same! What sets Maritime Madness apart from other hot sauces is their line of Red Clay PEI Potato hot sauces, which are PEI potato-based that mirror the earthy red clay on the island.
From mild sauces to insanely hot, these hot sauces go well with everything: from dips, wings, soups and more, there is no limit to what you can use Maritime Madness hot sauces for!
Some of my favourites include Jalapeno Apple, Jerk From Away, and Mustard Pickle. Naturally, I brought some home, but I love that you can also purchase curated boxes online or build your own! There’s also an abundance of BBQ and grilling sauces, too! Recommended by In Search of Sarah
Habanero Salsa – Yucatan
While hot sauces in Mexico come in a variety of spice levels, the habanero is one of the hottest peppers eaten in the country. You’ll receive it served with nearly traditional Yucatan food dishes throughout Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The Yucatan Peninsula is located in southeastern Mexico, bordering the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the north and west. It has a tropical climate and Mayan influences, and the foods here are not what many know as “Mexican food.”
To make the habanero salsa, you’d just roast habanero chilis until they blacken somewhat. With a molcajete (mortar and pestle) or a blender, you’ll combine the peppers up with some onions, spices, and a touch of juice from the naranja agria (sour orange).
When served, Yucatan habanero sauce looks yellow in colour. Since it’s not red, many don’t expect it to be as hot as it is, but it’s one of the spiciest local hot sauces in Mexico, so spoon it on one drop at a time!
If you’re not in Yucatan, you can still buy bottled habanero sauce in many places. The El Yucateco brand is good and found in major grocery stores in the U.S. contributed by Shelley of Travel To Merida
Salsa Lizano – Costa Rica
If you’re travelling in Costa Rica, you will undoubtedly come across the Costa Rican favourite: salsa lizano. While it is called a salsa, unlike traditional salsa, which generally has some chunks, this sauce is completely smooth and just a little bit thick. It’s a little sweet and spicy, with a unique and delicious flavour!
Salsa lizano is often served at breakfast, as an accompaniment to your eggs or Gallo pinto (a traditional rice and beans dish), as a topping on tamales or tacos, or as a flavouring on your meat of choice.
We loved it for its versatility on different food items, and the fact that it packed a flavour punch while also not being overly spicy.
Salsa lizano can be found in any grocery store in Costa Rica and is inexpensive – a 4 oz bottle costs just under $1. (Which makes it an excellent gift idea to bring home, as well). Contributed by Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast.
Bajan Pepper Sauce – Barbados
Travelling to over eighty countries, the best hot sauce I’ve found on my travels is Bajan pepper sauce in Barbados. It’s a staple in most households in the country and every restaurant there offers it.
This sauce is made from scotch bonnet peppers, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, turmeric, and a few more ingredients. It adds a delicious, spicy kick to veggies, chicken, seafood, and pretty much everything. The flavours are robust and elevate any dish.
I especially enjoy dipping my fries in Bajan pepper sauce and I never eat grilled chicken without a few dashes of it on top. I love the sauce because it adds a flavorful punch to any dish. Some hot sauces just taste spicy, but this one has depth. I feel my taste buds dancing every time I eat it.
I never leave my vacation to Barbados without bringing home a few bottles of this sauce. I’ve given some to friends and they all love it too. Contributed by Disha of Disha Discovers.
Valentina – Mexico
Valentina is arguably the most popular Mexican hot sauce in Mexico. This might be the most classic hot sauce you could choose, and it goes with practically everything. This sauce uses puya chiles, vinegar, water, and spices. The flavour is tangy, spicy, and slightly vinegary.
Pickapeppa – Jamaica
The original Pickapeppa sauce was created in 1921 by Norman Nash at the age of 16. He mixed vinegar, onions, sugar, tomato paste, salt, peppers, raisins, ginger, and mango to a mix of various spices and herbs.
The amazing thing is that this blend is, and has always been, a complete secret. No single member of staff knows the exact combination of ingredients that makes up the unique spice mix.
Ají – Ecuador
While Ecuadorian food varies significantly from region to region of the country, “ají” hot sauce binds it all together and adds a slightly spicy punch to dishes of all flavours. As you travel in Ecuador you’ll find homemade ají on the table at nearly every Ecuadorian restaurant you visit, mostly homemade recipes, each with their special, secret ingredients that restaurant owners, chefs, and home cooks swear by.
Some common and delicious variations include adding peanuts, small white beans called “chochos,” or even pickled vegetables like onions. With seafood dishes from the coast, you’ll find vinegar added to these homemade salsas and pickled local vegetables, as well as ají variations made with mustard bases, designed to pair well with shrimp, ceviches, fish, and plantains. In the mountainous Sierra region you’ll find ají made with “tomate de arból,” or, tree tomato, deliciously sweet fruit that pairs well with meats like chicken and pork. Contributed by Carley of Home to Havana
Asian hot sauces around the world
Sriracha – Thailand
This sauce is now found in virtually every restaurant across the world but it is originally from Thailand. The American version is not considered authentic as it is considered a watery version of the authentic Thai Sriracha.
Saowanit lives in Si Racha a city on the Thai gulf coast is 71 and is the grandchild of the original creator of Sriracha sauce says a proper Sriracha sauce needs to be what Thais call klom klom — the hotness, the sour, the sweet and the garlic all blending together seamlessly, none overpowering the other. The American version, she says, just brings the heat.
Gochugang – Korea
Gochujang, a fundamental ingredient in Korean cooking, is a thick and spicy-sweet deep red paste made from red chile pepper flakes, glutinous rice (also (also known as sticky rice), fermented soybeans, and salt. It is currently Jamie Oliver’s favourite condiment.
Doubanjiang – Sichuan China
Doubanjiang is a must-have for creating Sichuan dishes it is a fermented spicy bean paste.
XO Sauce – China
Used in Cantonese cooking this is a spicy and tasty seafood sauce that is sort of like a relish with dried seafood, chillies, garlic oil and onions. It can be added to the ingredients or used as a condiment on the table.
Sambal Oelek – Indonesia
Sambal Oelek is a spicy Indonesian chilli paste made with hot red peppers. It’s typically made with hot red chile peppers, salt and vinegar. Some variations can contain onion, lemon, and sugar.
My first run-in with Sambal Oelek was in the 80s visiting Amsterdam and being treated to a whole new world of food. We had a chicken noodle soup as a starter and the Sambal was on the table. Warned only to use a tiny touch of the fiery sauce my friend made the mistake of adding a teaspoon to his soup. Well, he had to drink milk for several hours afterwards.
These days Sambal Oelek is considered a mild hot sauce – well for those who have been initiated into the world of hot sauces that is.
Hot sauces around the world – Europe
Fear the Reaper by Rock a Doodle Do – Northern Ireland
As someone who lives on extremely hot food in Thailand, with daily meal meals loaded with chillies, and almost everything served with a fiery ‘Nam Prik’ or ‘Nam Jim’ chilli dips. I find myself craving chilli heat when travelling to countries without the same passion for ridiculously hot cuisine. Hence a hot sauce addiction.
One of my favourite hot sauces to date was found when back in my home country Northern Ireland while exploring the Saturday market in Belfast (Saint George’s Market), called Rock A Doodle Do. Aka Belfast Hot Sauce, offer a ridiculously hot range of chilli sauces created from a variety of extremely hot chilli peppers.
They even have a celebrity following including a collaboration on 4 hot sauces with Snow Patrol inspired by their hit singles, and Ed Sheeran is a fan. But my favourite is ‘Fear the Reaper’, made from Carolina Reaper (aka the world’s hottest chilli) which just needs a small taste to various dishes to pack enough heat to satisfy any chilli heat cravings. Although I don’t know how it fits with traditional Northern Irish food. I normally just add it to soups, noodles and stir-fries. Contributed by Allan of It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor.
Piri-Piri – Portugal
Sit down at any restaurant in Portugal, and you’re guaranteed to find a small bottle of Piri-Piri on the table. Don’t let the size fool you, though. The small bottle packs a punch, and just a drop or two will elevate your grilled chicken, suckling pork or seafood that Portugal is famous for to divine.
Piri-Piri is made from bird’s eye chilli and can be found all over the Portuguese world, from Mozambique to Macau. In Africa, Piri-Piri is often used as a marinade, while in Portugal, the chilli is mixed with olive oil and bottled as a condiment.
Growing up in South Africa, I have always known about the fiery goodness of Piri-Piri, thanks to Nando’s chicken and Mozambican seafood restaurants.
In Lisbon, our waiter introduced me to the small Piri-Piri and olive oil bottles at Cervejaria Ramiro (one of the best seafood restaurants in Lisbon).
At the end of our trip to Portugal, I was hooked and had to take some home. These tiny bottles of dynamite take up almost no space in your luggage, last a long time, and you can find them at any supermarket or corner store anywhere in Portugal. Contributed by De Wet of the Museum of Wander
C’momo – Nepal
If you adore some heat ‘C’ momo is the perfect condiment for your momos. Added to a base of Momo ko achaar are green chillies, chilli powder, chilli sauce, ketchup and soy sauce.
Thecha – India
India is a vast country and there are numerous hot sauces you’ll find here if you visit. Due to the sheer size, there tend to be variations in how these sauces are made, but the ingredients and the taste tend to be the same within a particular state.
Thecha is made with fiery green chillies and is usually found in the state of Maharashtra and Goa in India. Green chillies are pounded with coriander, peanut oil, lime juice and some garlic till a semi-smooth paste or sauce is created. This is then served with almost all dishes if someone prefers a little zing with their meals. However, it is best had with some chapatis and a vegetable subji.
Usually made at home it is quite difficult to buy it in stores; however, home cooks do sell it nowadays in small jars. I personally love it as it adds a nice fiery touch to meals and can be made extra tangy if needed. Contributed by Lavina of Continent Hop.
Pima Krazé – Mauritius
On the first day in Mauritius, we went to a low-key local restaurant in Mahébourg. Before our food came, the server brought two mysterious condiments to our table. I was looking for the words in French to ask what this is, but she got my back and said “This one is garlic sauce, and this one is very spicy.” And yes, it was.
This condiment made appearances with every delicious vegetarian meal we’ve had in Mauritius. It goes by a few names but all refer to the same hot sauce: piment vert, piment (é)crasé, and simply “spicy”. The Mauritian Creole spelling can vary from very French to very Morisien: Pima krazé.
It’s a classic to add to mine frite, bol renversé and riz frite. When ordering roti veg or pain fourré veg, they always ask if we want it spicy. I love that Pima krazé is very potent, so I only need a little to get a real kick.
This crushed green chilli sauce is so far always homemade, so the recipe varies from business to business. By the time I leave Mauritius, I’ll get a jar of Pima krazé from the island of Rodrigues for home use. Contributed by Iris Veldwijk from Mind of a Hitchhiker
Biber Salçasi – Turkey
Turkish food is not known for its heat but there is one sauce that comes from the Anatolian region called Biber salçasi, which translates to ‘pepper taste’. It is used mostly to flavor main dishes, as well as to garnish those addictive böreks. Another common use is toast, usually on bread like pita, pide bread, lavash, or simit.
Nando’s Peri-Peri Hot Sauce – South Africa
One of the most delicious dishes to eat in Lisbon, Portugal is without a doubt the famous Piri Piri Chicken also referred to locally as “Frango de Churrasco”. But whilst the famous Portuguese grilled chicken, usually marinated in a spicy hot sauce, is thought to have originated in Portugal, in reality, it’s not actually the case.
Many believe this dish to have been brought over to Portugal in the 70s from decolonized Portuguese speaking countries such as Mozambique or Angola where the spicy dish is believed to truly originate from.
Interestingly though, a particular South African chain of restaurants, Nando’s, has become synonymous with serving up this delectable and spicy “Portuguese” flame-grilled chicken dish, usually accompanied by their equally delicious brand of hot sauces that is sold in both local South Africa supermarkets or directly at their restaurants found throughout the country.
I personally love their selection of sauces that range from their mild Lemon & Herb flavoured sauce, the medium Garlic, to their extra Hot sauce for those who love the zing of an extra spicy sauce. In total they offer up a range of 5 different flavours and levels of heat, so you’ll no doubt find the one perfectly suited to your palette.
Whilst Nando’s is known for their chicken dishes, their hot sauce can be eaten with and enjoyed on just about any dish you wish to add some extra flavour and spice to.
If South Africa is too far afield for you to travel to, you may be interested to know that Nando’s is also located worldwide in countries such as the UAE, the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and the US, to name but a few. Meaning, you don’t have to travel thousands of miles to get your hands on a bottle of this tasty hot sauce! By Marco from Travel-Boo
Shatta – Egypt
Shatta hot sauce is most popular in Egypt and Palestine (particularly the coastal areas). Shatta is a hot pepper condiment from Gaza that combines olive oil with garlic and salt. Compared to Schug, shatta will be spicier similar to Harissa.
Abkhaz Adjika – Georgia
Adjika (ajika) is a staple of Georgian and Abkhaz cuisine. Hot, spicy and full of flavour, it’s traditionally prepared with red peppers, garlic, herbs and spices. Some recipes call for walnuts, which gives the adjika a pesto-like consistency.
There are at least 65 documented varieties of adjika, ranging from dry rubs to thick marinades and wet sauces. Every region of Georgia has its own speciality, for example, blue fenugreek and coriander are often used in mountainous areas.
The spiritual home of adjika is Abkhazia, the breakaway republic/occupied territory in western Georgia, but it’s also a staple of Mingrelian cuisine. One of the best things to do in Zugdidi, Samegrelo’s biggest city, is to stroll through the local market and admire the huge selection of homemade green and red adjika.
This is where I first tasted authentic homemade adjika. Some restaurants serve it as a condiment: it can be used to spice up a range of dishes such as kharcho or eaten with meat. Depending on the amount of chilli added, it can really bring the heat – but the best thing about adjika is its depth of flavour. Contributed By Emily from Wander-Lush
Chermoula – North Africa
Chermoula is both a marinade and a paste that contains lemon juice, coriander, parsley, garlic, cumin and of course chile peppers. This is a rough-textured paste that is traditionally used with seafood and fish dishes. It can also be used as a dressing for salads or a dipping sauce.
Skhug – Israel
A mildly spicy sauce of peppers, citrus, cilantro, lemon, olive oil and spices, such as cardamom, cumin and caraway. It probably came from the Yemeni Zhoug. The basic ingredients are always hot peppers, spices, and garlic. skhug is used as a dipping sauce for falafel or as a marinade for kebobs.
Zhoug/Schug – Middle East
This is a spicy herb sauce of Yemenite origin that you find in Syria and Israel. Schug is bright green colour from serrano peppers mixed with olive oil, cilantro, lemon juice, herbs, and garlic. This popular middle eastern condiment can have a variety of flavours to it like many hot sauces and pastes.
Harrissa – Tunisia
Harrissa originated in Tunisia and it is a sauce or paste made of dry red chiles, garlic, citrus, extra virgin olive oil and spices including cumin, coriander and caraway seeds. It is used as a dip or marinade as well as adding a vibrant heat to dishes like stews and soups. Harrissa also comes in a green version.
Awaze Sauce – Ethiopia
Awaze is a traditional Ethiopian sauce or spice paste that’s served with most main dishes in the country. It’s usually made with ingredients such as berbere spice blend, t’ej (Ethiopian honey wine), and oil.
It can be used as a sauce or a dip for meat, but it’s also often added to stews such as wat or used as a sandwich spread. If desired, the sauce can be enriched with ginger and garlic – everyone makes their awaze in a different way and there are many versions of the sauce.
Filfel chuma – Libya
Filfel Chuma is a Libyan hot sauce made with ingredients including garlic, bell peppers, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika and various other herbs and flavours. Filfel Chuma from the ancient kitchens of Libyan Jews, and can be paired with anything from rice, beans, and egg dishes to roasted meat or fish dishes.
Egusi Sauce – Central African Republic
Egusi consists of onions, tomatoes, hot chilli peppers, and oil. It is traditionally thickened with flour that is made from seeds of squashes such as pumpkins, and melons. The mixture is seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne and served either as a soup or sauce with vegetables or grilled meat and fish.
There are many more hot sauces around the world but these are the ones my travel blogger friends and I have tried and found delicious and keep coming back to. Have you got a favourite hots sauce, not on the list? If so leave a comment below to tell us about it.