Q. Hi Dave,
Just started receiving your magazine….great stuff. I have two questions re: making hot sauce.
1 – How do I get the vinegar and peppers to not separate once bottled?….the store brands have a nice united texture…my homemade is like oil and vinegar in its separation.
2 – Are there food/health laws governing the sale of hot sauce?… i.e. I have a friend that has a store that may be willing to sell my sauce..but I want to know if there are laws/restrictions. Thanks,
A. Hello Brendan:
To answer your questions:
1. Hot sauce is a colloidal suspension; that is, solid particles of peppers and other ingredients are suspended in liquid, in this case water and vinegar. The finer the particles, the less separation occurs. Manufacturers use much more powerful mixers than home blenders to make the particles very fine, and then the strain the hot sauce to remove any larger particles. Some manufacturers use a binder like xanthan gum to make sure that the suspension doesn’t separate. Straining your sauce through several layers of cheesecloth should work.
2. You bet that there are food and health laws regarding the sale of hot sauce. Generally speaking, the laws require that the sauce be produced in a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen. Contact your local health authority (the one that inspects restaurants) for their rules and regulations.
From: Brendan Riordan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 4:08 PM
Subject: Tabasco Sauce