If the day’s news has got you down, what you need is a jolt of hot sauce.
But first, some history. Just before the Civil War, Edmund McIlhenny was a wealthy banker living in a mansion in New Orleans. Then the Union Army came to town. New Orleans was captured and looted, and McIlhenny’s home was taken. He fled to Avery Island, where his wife’s family mined rock salt. But the federals took that too. McIlhenny was left with nothing to his name but a miserable crop of hot peppers. With no other prospects, he crushed some of the peppers and mixed them with vinegar and salt, and sent them to local wholesalers. One bottle fell into the hands of General Hazard, the federal administrator in New Orleans, who loved the stuff. And, as luck would have it, his brother turned out to be the largest grocery wholesaler in the country! On the strength of the purchase orders that poured in, McIlhenny launched “Tabasco,” which became the country’s most popular brand of hot sauce.
And now it’s turning out that Tabasco might just save us all. Hot sauces get their heat from the chemical capsaicin, which is proving itself to be a bit of a wonder drug. When you eat Tabasco, your body gets busy removing the capsaicin from your system. Recent medical studies suggest that this results in increased metabolism and reduced lipid absorption. So hot sauce has the potential to give you energy and keep you fit. Tabasco adds flavor but is low in fat and calories. But wait, there’s more. Capsaicin may also help control diabetes. And a recent study by Cornell University – so it must be true – shows that adding hot sauce to meals may actually reduce ulcers and digestive distress.
Now, we’re not saying that Tabasco will solve all the world’s problems. But if reading the morning headlines is giving you a case of indigestion, you might just want to add a few drops to your eggs.
(We received no compensation from The McIlhenny Company for this quick Sliver.)