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Variety, as the old saying goes, is the spice of life.
But, as a 2015 study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found out, it is spice that is actually the spice of life, literally.
After evaluating the health and diet information of almost 500,000 people in China from 2004 to 2008 and then following up with them a few years later, researchers determined individuals who ate spicy foods — particularly fresh and dried chili peppers — almost every day had a 14 percent lower risk of death than people who ate spicy foods only once a week.
Below, you’ll find a list of 14 spicy options to consider gifting to someone whose lifespan you’d like to extend (or the person in your life who likes things hot) — and one option to help ’em cool down if their insides catch fire.
The Last Dab: Apollo
Bred by record-holding chili grower Smokin’ Ed Currie of Puckerbutt Pepper Co. from strains of Carolina Reaper and Pepper X peppers, the Apollo Pepper was made to make celebrities cry their eyes out on Hot Ones. This version of The Last Dab is the only sauce in the world that’s made with the Apollo Pepper.
TABASCO® Sizzling Trio Sauce Set
A staple of diner tabletops across the country, TABASCO® is generally thought of as an entry-level sauce that’s strong on flavor but maybe lacking on heat. This trio of non-traditional offerings, especially the Scorpion Sauce, turns that line of thinking on its ear.
Hattie B’s Whole Hot Chicken
A staple in Nashville, Hattie B’s has expanded its heat footprint and now has locations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis and Las Vegas. Delicious when plain, the chicken from Hattie B’s goes to another level when coated in the restaurant’s Shut the Cluck Up sauce blend of ghost, habanero and cayenne peppers.
OLD BAY Hot Sauce Dispenser
Released earlier this year, OLD BAY Hot Sauce is one of the best ideas to come out of the culinary world since sliced bread. This dispenser is a great way to add it to wings, crabs and, hell, even sliced bread. Also, the dispenser comes with a three-gallon supply of the new signature sauce from the brand.
Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp
Chinese spices are criminally underrated in terms of their versatility, as evidenced by this delectable sauce that we’ve already spooned directly onto eggs, pizza, noodles and a Shake Shack crispy chicken sandwich with fantastic results across the board. Not nearly as spicy as it looks, with a pleasant crispy element and a great umami kick that punches up whatever it happens to be playing with.
Hon Sauce Spicy Mayo
Do you like mayonnaise? Do you like spicy things? Do you like truffles? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions (or, even better, all three of these questions), do not sleep on this hot condiment fire right here. Hon Sauce comes in three flavors: spicy mayo, extra spicy mayo, and spicy truffle mayo, all three of which make an excellent addition to everything from burgers to sushi rolls to any food you would like to dip into something tasty.
Rumble With the Reaper Pack
As we learned from Festivus on Seinfeld, the holidays can be a time for feats of strength. There’s no better way to demonstrate the ability to suffer through high heat than with Paqui’s One Chip Challenge. Since Paqui’s individual Reaper chips are sold out, this collector’s pack is now the only way to take the challenge.
Trees Knees Spicy Maple
Infused with a mix of spicy chili peppers, this Brooklyn-born syrup is made with sap that’s been sourced from maple trees in the Catskill Mountains. For those who might be a bit tapped on Mike’s Hot Honey — which is also a great combo of spicy and sweet — Trees Knees Spicy Maple is a good option.
Anchor Bar Gift Box
For the unfamiliar, Buffalo’s Anchor Bar is the birthplace of the chicken wings the Upstate New York city is now famous for. While they won’t quite replicate tucking into some wings while watching the Bills in mid-winter as the wind wails outside, the sauces contained in this box can at least partially deliver the Buffalo experience (without sub-zero weather).
Sonoran Spice Company Gift Box
Containing 1.5-ounce bottles of Sonoran’s Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and Ghost Pepper powders, this bundle is not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach.) Perfect for use on meaty mains as well as spicing up a side dish of dip or salsa.
Secret Aardvark Fabulous Foursome
Gift every sauce the Portland-based company makes with this convenient quartet. Ideal for pizza or fries and also plenty powerful enough for wings, Secret Aardvark’s self-titled flagship sauce features a unique “Caribbean meets Tex-Mex” flavor that also has enough kick to work as a marinade.
Make-Your-Own Hot Sauce Kit
Containing cayenne, ancho, curry, and chili spice packs, this simplistic DIY kit comes with all the fix-ins needed to create handcrafted condiments and bottle ’em at home. Everyone’s got a little more time on their hands in 2020 — there are certainly worse ways to spend it than blending up hot sauce.
Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce
While this sauce isn’t really all that hot or spicy, it has enough umami flavor to get the tastebuds sizzling without burning them out. Made without any additives, preservatives, or flavorings, the teriyaki-ish sauce is great on almost anything and can also be used as a marianade.
Choco Challenge 2.0 via Fuego Box
The White Lightning chocolate crafted for the second edition of Fuego Box’s Choco Challenge is made with an exclusive 12-pepper blend of the hottest chili’s in the world created by the aforementioned Ed Currie of PuckerButt. For each of the bars that is sold, Fuego Box will donate 50 meals to Feeding America.
Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief Gum
Alka-Seltzer’s heartburn relief gum is a good alternative to drinking milk or stuffing your face with bread in order to get relief if things get a little too hot. The gum combines flavor crystals with a neutralizing acid to provide fast-acting relief for the heartburn symptoms that can be caused by spice.
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