A Brief History of U.S. Hot Sauces

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Antique Hot Sauce Bottles


Much of what we know about now-extinct brands of hot sauces comes from bottle collectors. There is not a great body of material on the subject of collectible hot sauce bottles, but we are indebted to Betty Zumwalt, author of Ketchup, Pickles, Sauces: 19th Century Food in Glass, who dutifully catalogued obscure hot sauce bottles found by collectors. Many bottles in the hands of collectors were uncovered from archaeological digs and shipwrecks.

Other sources of information about early hot sauces are city directories, which often contained advertisements for sauces, and newspapers. We know from these sources that the first bottled cayenne sauces appeared in Massachusetts around 1807. These were probably homemade and similar to the English sauces with the silver labels. Read the complete article on the history of U.S. hot sauces here.