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The Weird World of Hot Sauce and The Strangest Hot Sauce Names
We live in a world comprised of worlds, ladies and gentlemen. Worlds surround us and we aren't even aware of their presence until some force, need, or lack brings us out of our stupor into one of those often strange, often wonderful worlds. I'm not talking about the time I contracted syphilis, no sir, I'm talking about the world of hot sauce. Tabasco had finally stopped being a scorcher for me, so I decided, "I'm gonna get me something stronger!" That's when I stumbled into this bizarre world, soaked in machismo, diarrhea jokes, and scoville units. I may be no expert, but allow me to give you a little initiation into this weird world with the eyes of an outsider.
The Naming of the Sauce
Hot sauces aren't named for elegance. They aren't named for honesty. They're named to challenge you. They challenge you to say, "Yes, I have balls!" and to say, "No, I don't have dignity!" Okay, some of them have nice names, like "Melinda's Original Hot Sauce." But then some are called "Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally." Let's have a look at some of the wackiest names.
Note: From here on out, 'ass' will be replaced with 'Smurf'. Sorry, but Google AdSense makes me do it.
Colon Blow: A Red Haberno Enema. You ever meet someone who feels the need to explain the punchlines of his jokes, no matter how obvious? Well, meet Colon Blow. Just in case you didn't get the idea, they generously choose to explain the 'Colon Blow' in a handy subtitle. But why would you want that to be your main point of advertising? Any marketing guru will tell you the name is key. It conveys the essence of the product. Colon Blow flushed that key down the toilet and warned you "Do NOT go in there." The essence of the product is, apparently, the nightmarish pandemonium it will unleash within your bowels like the ninth circle of hell.
[Smurf] in Antarctica/[Smurf] in the Tub Hot Sauce. Y'see, Smurf in Antarctica is an upgrade of Smurf in the Tub. When you only have to put your Smurf in a tub, it hasn't been sufficiently inflamed by the fires of hell pouring liquid form through its raw gates to transform it into a wasteland salamander paradise. The upgrade promises your Smurf will require the whole of antarctica to make it feel alive again. Your Smurf will singlehandedly cause a spike in global warming after a good squirt of Smurf in Antarctica. That's what we're talkin' about here.
Screaming Sphincter Hot Sauce. Y'know, Freud might have something to say about these hot sauce names. There's a definite anal fixation here. Yes, this sauce is so hot it will make the very muscular device that controls your Smurf dialation scream into the depths of the night. There you go. The same goes for Butt Pucker Hot Sauce, Flamin' Flatulence, [Smurf] Reaper, ANALize This (I wish I were making that up), and many others. There will be no trace of feces or dignity left anywhere in your system once you've sampled some of these badboys.
Baboon [Smurf] Gone Rabid Hot Sauce. I've been told that this sauce actually tastes quite good. I'm not sure how I'd feel about requesting an extra helping of Baboon Ass (whoops!) on my pork chop. I have to admire their ability to carry the baboon theme into going rabid. Fortunately the smurfin' leitmotif is sacrificed by this point.
Hog's [Smurf] Haberno Hot Sauce. What the smurf? Another smurfin' animal smurf sauce! I'm not sure what this one is promising. Is a hog's dirty smurfwagon a particularly tongue-scorching squirt of smurf? Will it make your mouth feel like hog-smurf? Is a hog-smurf particularly dry and painful most of the time? I don't recall David Attenborough mentioning that. The mysteries of this smurfin' sauce is not for man to fathom.
Okay, enough smurf-related sauces. I think we all get the idea. How about the sexist sauces?
Hot [Chienne] at the Beach Hot Sauce. That's a mouthful. (That's what she said.) You see what's being done there? It's an ironic equivocation, using 'hot' to refer to the girl and the agony it'll inflict on your tongue. The beach imagery, with scorched sands and blistering sun, contributes to the promise. Quite a good name, actually.
Show Your [Bongos] Hot Sauce. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this one is. Presumably it gets so hot in your mouth, you flash anyone around. Or it'll make women flash you. Or maybe it'll just cause you to sweat profusely, so you have to strip. I dunno. I think it was just an excuse to put a dirty picture on the label.
Then there are the political sauces, sauces that really try to make a statement. Like Bush & Dick Hot Sauce. Get it? George Bush and Dick Cheney, but it sounds like geni--yeah, okay. Or Burn in Hell Osama!!! Hot Sauce. This crazy communist taking the radical position that Osama Bin Laden is evil, right? Note the three exclamation points showing just how deeply held a conviction this is.
After the name, what'll really catch your eye are some nifty bottle designs. No area of food or beverage puts as much care into bottle designs as that of hot sauce. You can see these in a slideshow on the right.
Caboom Hot Sauce comes in a grenade shell, packed in a crate! That's hardcore.
The HD Heat Hot Sauce bottle is shaped as a biker on his motorcycle. Knowing these hot sauce guys, that's some sort of flatulence joke.
Kiss of Fire Hot Sauce: A giant pair of lips. Just be glad it isn't a puckered smurf.
Goddess of Fire Hot Sauce: A lady in a sexy pose. Surprisingly, not a single diarrhea or fart joke.
Saddam How Hot Is It Now? Hot Sauce comes with some sort of novelty underwear, white briefs just like ol' Saddam wore. "Fart underwear" they call it. Presumably the underwear has a fart button. You can tell they put a lot of thought into that.
Adam Krakatoa, shaped like a male torso.
Eve Krakatoa, shaped like a female torso.
The Embrace, Adam and Eve Krakatoa embrance. How sweet!
I didn't even mention label designs. These are usually cartoonish, often sexy, sexist, and bizarre.
Poots depicts a cartoon cat with severe diarrhea. "Wow, that's what I aspire to be," is what the prospective buyer thinks. I guess.
The Big Hot One depicts a beautiful woman sensually sucking a hot pepper. But since these sauces apparently unleash the four horsemen of the apocalypse in your intestines, I doubt you'll get a girl anywhere near your pepper after eating this.
Fiery Fart depicts a showgirl in black leather letting loose, well, a fiery fart. So that'll remind you of your wedding night.
Hot for VP depicts Sarah Palin in garters requesting a drill. I'm not ashamed to say I'd oblige.
Hot sauce labels are hours of fun, but this article must come to an end. So let's move on.
Capsaicin, Scoville, and All That
I can't end the article, however, without mentioning what may be the major point of pride for many hot sauce manufacturers: the heat. This heat is generated by capsaicin, a chemical that occurs naturally in peppers and is an irritant to organic tissue. In high enough concentrations it can cause irritation even to skin. Capsaicin concentration is measured in Scoville units. Let's see how hot things can get.
Tabasco, the hottest sauce most of us ever consume, is about 3500 scovilles.
Police pepper spray is 5,300,000 scovilles.
You Can't Handle This Hot Sauce is 80,000, over 20 times Tabasco.
357 Mad Dog is 357,000 scovilles, over 100 times Tabasco.
Dave's Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia Sauce is 650,000 scovilles.
Blair's Ultra Death Hot Sauce is 1,100,000 scovilles.
Blair's 6 AM Reserve Pepper Extract is 10,000,000 scovilles, twice as powerful as law enforcement grade pepper spray.
Blair's 16 Million Reserve is 16,000,000 scovilles--pure capsaicin, in other words.
Yes, you can buy pure capsaicin. But unless you're Heston Blumenthal, you'll only end up hurting yourself. Seriously, you can get hurt with that stuff. So don't buy it.
So there you go. If you're feeling particularly resentful of your colon, sphincter, anus, or anything thereabouts, just pour some of this stuff down your face-hole and prepare to suffer. As for me, I think I'll stick with Tabasco. That said, if anyone really wants me to try a hot sauce, feel free to send me an unopened bottle and I will certainly try it, record the event, and put the video on this article.