Hot sauce Hot sauce This Father's Day, give Dad the gift of heat. (Photo: Sea Wave / Shutterstock)

5 hot sauces to spice up your Father’s Day

This Father's Day, why not give Dad something he will actually use – on every food in sight?

The coveted condiment known as hot sauce has turned the humble chicken wing into a culture in and of itself. You're likely to find a pepper for every personality, a level of heat for every pain threshold, and a man in your kitchen, licking his lips, just waiting for that slow, satisfying burn after he takes that first bite.

This being the day of the dads, what better way to show him how much you appreciate him than by hitting his tastebuds right where it counts – with a homemade meal (breakfast in bed, perhaps?) that incorporates and celebrates some of the world's boldest, most sought-after hot sauces. You'll be sure to have that man in your kitchen smiling with every bite, reaching for the napkins – and, hopefully, a breathmint or two.

1. Sriracha

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. Sriracha is a Thai-style hot chili sauce made in California. (Photo: Julie Clopper/Shutterstock)

It's not a sauce; it's a movement. Sriracha is said to have originated in Thailand, named after the town of Si Racha, which first served the sauce in seafood restaurants. The most popular brand is Huy Fong Foods, based in California. With the fan base it's attracted, pretty soon you'll see packets of this stuff in a bin right next to the ketchup dispensers in every fast-food joint across America. There's even a movie about it. This Father's Day, ask Dad not what meal you can make for him, but what sauce he'd like on the side. Chances are, he'll go straight to sriracha.

2. Texas Pete

Texas Pete hot sauce.Texas Pete hot sauce. Because America. (Photo: Pete Carpenter/Flickr)

Chili had it coming. That quintessential American stew was just waiting for the perfect accompaniment. Legend has it that a barbecue joint in Winston-Salem, N.C., started experimenting with the perfect blend of heat and flavor for their chili sauce, and Texas Pete was born. The company recently discontinued its canned chili sauce for hamburgers and hot dogs, but fear not – its signature hot sauce is still going strong, and hot. It might be time to fire up the slow cooker and surprise Dad with a Texas-themed chili party.

3. Schug

Sabra red and green schug.Schug (also spelled skhug) is a red- or green-pepper-based hot sauce. (Photo: Courtesy Sabra)

Where there is hummus, you may also find schug. Made from fresh hot peppers and seasoned with coriander, garlic and other spices (cilantro is a common ingredient), schug is a staple of Israeli cuisine and is often drizzled on falafel or shawarma. There are two basic types of schug, the only difference being the type of pepper in the mix. Sabra, normally synonymous with hummus, also makes a schug that's nothing to shrug at.

4. Cholula

Cholula hot sauceCholula hot sauce is a wing eater's favorite. (Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

For the dad who trends toward vinegar-based sauces, this distinctly Mexican creation has a thin texture and just the right amount of spice. You'll know it by the signature wooden cap, but that's not the only quality that sets this sauce apart from its peers. Starting with a mixture of pequin and arbol peppers – pequin being seven times hotter than jalapeño – it's no wonder this sauce is nicknamed "The Flavorful Fire."

5. Frank's RedHot

Frank's Red Hot buffalo sauce.Go Buffalo, or go home. (Photo: Bill Roehl/Flickr)

Remember when Buffalo wings actually came from Buffalo? This sauce is about as close as one could get. The earliest known evidence of this recipe dates back to 1896, when a couple of businessmen in Cincinnati, Ohio, joined forces to create this cayenne-pepper-based sauce. So how did it make its way east? The folks at Anchor Bar and Grill in Buffalo, N.Y., used it as the main ingredient in their wing sauce, and the rest is history. Got your deep fryer handy? Tell Dad to fasten his bib and dig in.


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5 hot sauces to spice up your Father’s Day
This Father's Day, why not give Dad something he will actually use – on every food in sight?