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Hot Sauce, Tabasco and Chili Peppers (With a Hint of Mint)
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Frank’sRedHot (Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce) debuted in 1920. Besides the original, there’s: Frank’s RedHot Buffalo (Wing) Sauce, XTRA Hot Sauce, Hot Buffalo Sauce, Slammin’ Sriracha, and Sweet Chili Sauce.

Mexico alone grows more than 140 varieties of chili peppers.

Chile peppers are cholesterol-free; low in sodium and calories; rich in vitamins A and C; a good source of folic acid; potassium; and Vitamin E.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered chili peppers in America (or did the Indians/Native Americans first?).

Capsaicin, the chemical that gives peppers their heat, also has many health benefits. Warding off strokes, lowering blood pressure, speeding metabolism, reducing cholesterol, treating colds, preventing cancer and pain management.

Chilies have more vitamin C than oranges!

One out of every four people in the world eat chili peppers daily.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew chile peppers.

Tabasco sauce was named after the Tabasco River in southern Mexico by creator Edmund McIlhenny; he liked the sound of the word.

Queen Elizabeth uses Tabasco on her lobster cocktail.

Former president George Bush (the first one) is a Tabasco sauce aficionado; he uses it in many dishes.

More than 100 million bottles of Tabasco sauce are sold yearly.

Tabasco’s labeled in fifteen languages and shipped in more than a hundred countries.

Americans use the most Tabasco sauce; the Japanese are second.

Tabasco’s health benefits include: Improving digestion, battling depression (by releasing endorphins, which relieve pain and promoting a sense of well-being), clearing sinuses, warding off some forms of cancer and aiding in weight loss.

Mint

Since ancient times, mint has been valued as a medicinal herb; it’s reported to ease an upset stomach, aid digestion and relieve hiccups and nausea.

It’s available year-round, peaking from June to October. Mint’s a perennial plant and can be found in many varieties, like apple, ginger, lime and pineapple, among others. The most widely available and known are peppermint and spearmint. Did you know that most mints can be used interchangeably (with only a slight difference in flavor)?

Buying? Choose one that has evenly colored leaves that aren’t wilting. Store it in the refrigerator, stems down in a glass of water with a plastic bag over the leaves for up to a week. Change the water every two days. And you can also freeze mint; keep it in a plastic bag.
It’s already well-known as an added ingredient in candies, desserts and drinks, but mint can also be used in entrees and side dishes; a sprig can be added to new carrots, green peas or new potatoes. Or you can toss them with mint and melted butter after cooking; a sprig can be placed on the rim of a cool drink; mint can be sprinkled on a fruit salad-or tomatoes. And it can be a garnish for the fruit salad or meat, such as lamb. All mint varieties will work well as herbal teas, jellies and juleps. Many hybrids can be used for aromatherapy or in a bath.

Did you know that mint contains Vitamins A and C? Mint tea will ease stomach cramps and calm nausea. In cooler-and colder-weather, mint tea will also help relieve colds and flu.

Sources: Hot sauce supplement (late 1970s-early 1980s) and “Recipe uses leaves’ refreshing properties” by Carol J. G. Ward-Knight-Ridder Newspapers and Gourmet magazine-The Vindicator-Sept. 29, 1999

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