ForumTouchy Subjects ► Hot sauce
I gotta say, I agree that pain is not a flavour. A lot of superhot sauces and restaurants with "super spicy" dishes substitute actual flavour for more heat and it's just gross, like the IPA trend and far too much hops.

Hot sauce has to have a decent vinegar and a decent chilli flavour or it's a firm no from me.
Ahh, that has the same basic ingredients (peppers, vinegar, and salt) as my go-to brand. I'm all about that. 👌
But if you eat painful stuff enough then it stops being so painful. Like you get to taste nothing but the unique habanero flavor when you bite into one. Plus, what’s wrong with hot? You eat a crap ton of spicy-ass (lol spicy ass) peppers and then you start sweating like crazy and it hurts to breathe but then once that goes away you feel pretty good for a couple hours.

I do agree though that painfulness isn’t what makes or breaks a hot sauce. It’s gotta have a balance.
Delicious, delicious endorphins.
Yeah some really good buffalo sauce is pretty good, the stuff that's more runny than sticky.
I can’t get past the smoke and sweet flavor of buffalo sauce. Maybe something not so sticky would be good. If someone could work tobacco smoke into a hot sauce, maybe then it’d taste good too.
Yaint understand the severity of hotsauce where I come from...
Please do share. Being from Louisiana, I love spicy things.

A spicy butthole is probably the only downside to very spicy hotsauce.
Gotta keep a roll of TP in the freezer for those extra authentic curries
Bruh there’s a Thai place in my hometown. They offer every dish mild, warm, hot, Thai hot. I ordered hot and I told the dude “Hey you got anything to make this hotter?” He grinned and came back with a tiny dish of this paste of Asian chili peppers all crushed up and he said “Just mix a little in since you’re, you know, white” and I dumped the whole thing in and he goes “Wow. I can’t handle even a teaspoon.” Best curry I ever had. He came back with a lot of galangal for me and said “The chef said to mix this in for you.” Hottest, gingeryest thing I ever ate. The chef came out and asked me how it was and when I told him “Best curry I’ve ever had”, he said “We gonna make special dish just for you. I have never done that before.” I payed for it for a good hour or so later on. Best lunch of my life. Sweating out all your sorrows is the most cathartic thing in the world.
That sounds amazing.
Dude, it is. Next time I go, I might take a picture of the chili pepper paste stuff. That would be the first time I've taken a picture of food come to think of it.
Well, this got way longer than intended. I've bolded the important parts for your tl;dr pleasure.

I'm think I'm in the "pain is not a flavor" camp, and I apologize ahead of time for turning this into a semantics argument.
Flavor perception is highly subjective and is distinct from taste perception. It's well known that scent plays a large role, in addition to taste, texture, color, and temperature, along with other nociceptive (pain) responses. So pain can be a component of flavor.

However, I'm going to make a guess that pain elsewhere in the body does not influence flavor in the same manner as pain specific to the tongue. I will even go so far as to assert that pain on the tongue, in the absence of other chemical stimulus (for example, the pain from a cut or bruise) would not be interpreted as flavor by the vast majority of people. That is to say pain, in isolation, is not a flavor.

And now for a bunch of additional thoughts:

My reading of the article (Simon and De Araujo, 2005) is that TRPV1 channels have been found on taste receptor cells, and that stimulation of those channels by ethanol induces a response in the chorda tympani, which (eventually) leads to the gustatory cortex, where, at least in mice, we've mapped a number of taste responses. (I don't have the energy or motivation to find the full article but here's an abstract. By the way, the fact that they were unable to map the sour taste, and that there is a nociceptive response to acid makes me tempted to argue that "sour" is actually part of touch, not taste...) In general, nociceptors around the body are instead mapped to the somatosensory cortex, telling us where the pain is coming from. That said, there's a lot going on in the brain and we're still figuring out just how all these regions are connected.

Of note is that a second nerve, the lingual nerve, carries more general somatosensory information from the tongue to the brain, and damage to this nerve is known to be related to a burning sensation on the tongue, despite it being unrelated to taste. Given that the capsaicin study examined neural response in TRCs and the CT but not the subjective sensation of burning as experienced by the organism, I have to wonder whether capsaicin applied to the tongue (and TRPV1 channels on the skin of the tongue, in addition to those specifically located on TRCs) of someone with a transected or otherwise nonfunctional lingual nerve would produce a burning sensation. It certainly seems possible there is a separate gustatory sensation produced by capsaicin stimulus that cannot normally be separated from the simultaneous perception of pain by a healthy human being, and I'd be interested in seeing more research in this area.

I think some of humanity's collective confusion as to which sensory response is which to what stems from the insistence on putting things in neat little boxes, like the assertion that there are five distinct senses, each of which functions independently from the others. But that's just not how humans work, and ultimately it comes down to how humans themselves define each sense based not on cellular response but on their own subjective experience of sensory perception.

Returning to the question at hand...

I generally don't add what I would classify as "hot sauce" to my food, given that capsaicin and vinegar isn't going to do much to help with a food I already perceive as bland, and, to me, there's no point putting hot sauce on something that's already spicy. However, I will use hot salsas, chili pastes, chili peppers, etc. as appropriate. In particular, I've been making a lot of Korean food lately, which means I've been consuming a lot of gochujang.
Dude, you know what's awesome? When you're at a sushi place and they give you that little ball of wasabi? Eat the ball. It's delicious.

The thing is, I do that.
but when theres a single drop of siracha in my pho it's too spicy for me to eat.
I'm just gonna say one thing about this hot sauce business, Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce is the only acceptable option for at home buffalo wings. I said what I Said.
I'll have to try that one next time I feel like buffalo wings. I made my own sauce once, but it was just okay...
I'm just gonna say one thing about this hot sauce business, Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce is the only acceptable option for at home buffalo wings. I said what I Said.

You're not wrong, that's basically the Anchor Bar recipe.
I just tried the Doritos Sriracha chips and they're legit. Of course not as spicy as the original condiment eaten straight, but they didn't pull their punches. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Then I tried putting chipotle Tabasco on them because because my kids were taking some of the chips so I dared them to go hotter. Turns out the sauce is not any spicier than the chips already are so we had a good time sampling different hot sauces from the fridge.
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