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Hot Sauce Nation: America's Burning Obsession

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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Hot Sauce Nation is a journey of discovery, delving into history, culture, immigration patterns, and the science of spice and pain. Through the stories of hot sauce makers and lovers, it explores the unique hold the dark prince of condiments has over the American heart. 
Paperback, 198 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Chicago Review Press
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Yael
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now for something a little different: Denver Nicks's Hot Sauce Nation: America's Burning Obsession, a delight to read and a serious discussion of all things chili.

Philosophers have often looked for the defining feature of humans -- language [ravens and cats have language], rationality [hah!], culture [birds, other primates, even Tyrannosaurus rex had and have it], and so on. I'd stick with this: Man is the only animal that likes Tabasco sauce.
-- Dr. Paul Bloom, [as quoted on page ix of the boo
...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Hot Sauce Nation: America's Burning Obsession by Denver Nicks is a very highly recommended celebration of the most popular condiment on earth and a tribute to the people who make it and the people who love it. Nicks explores the history of hot sauce, and some of the people and places who love it.

"Philosophers have often looked for the defining feature of humans - language, rationality, culture, and so on. I’d stick with this: Man is the only animal that likes Tabasco sauce." Dr. Paul Bloom.

What
...more
Chelsea
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

Hot Sauce Nation showed up on a Buzzfeed list of gifts for hot sauce lovers. My stepfather is a hot sauce lover, so I clicked into it, and being a book lover myself, the book jumped out at me. So I bought it for some light weekend reading. After slogging through Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the light non-fiction of Hot Sauce Nation was refreshing, and it was a pretty decent book overall.

In this book, Nicks endeavors to explain how hot
...more
John
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was an impulse borrow from the library because I love hot sauce. I did wonder a bit though, reading the praise blurbs on the back from the author of a history of bourbon and the author of a history of craft beer...is everything going to get a history eventually? A history of fish sticks? A history of cereal bars? Even this guy mentions several times in the book that his friends thought it was kind of weird that he was working on a history of hot sauce.
The book was kind of a mixed bag. I enj
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Michele Jennifer
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, nonfiction
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway, but all thoughts and opinions are my own
This book takes a delightful, lighthearted look at the psyche of the hot sauce aficionado. If you weren’t craving salsa, buffalo wings, or some sort of spicy flavour before reading this book, you definitely will after. Read my full review here.
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Kelsey
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book I have recieved from a Goodreads giveaway. I entered the contest intrigued by the content of the novel, but not entirely sure how a book about hot sauce would read. The author's voice is humorous and informative, drawing conclusions that I would have never connected. I enjoyed reading about the history of spicy foods and the real life pioneers of the hot sauce nation.
Taylor Mitchell
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting to read. The author was funny and it was light. The last chapter mentioned New Mexico which was great since just getting back from Zuni a month ago. It was interesting to see points on how hot sauce is a millennial thing, but in the end it's a book about hot sauce. I'm glad I challenged myself to a different type of book.
Ioana Oprița
Aug 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nope
I read some reviews on Amazon before buying it, and I was curious about its content, but I was very disappointed.

It has some interesting ideas, but reading it felt...tiring. While there's a lot of information that was verified, the book is not worth buying.

It's some sort of diary, some scientific stuff, some stories that aren't really glued together. It was like the author had all this information gathered and the editor tried to make sense of it all. It would have been better if one actually r
...more
Toddkenna
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interestingly written, and not a complete summary of the history of hot sauce in America, well worth the read if you like spicy food at all.
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