Hot sauce from Calabria


The region of Calabria in southern Italy is well-known for its quality-rich, tangy dishes that often include hot pepper. Did you know that there’s a scale classifying the degree of spiciness of pepper? It’s called the Scoville scale, named after the American chemist Wilbur Scoville, who in 1912 tested the spiciness of various peppers to make a balm for a pharmaceutical company.

Shu is the heat unit Scoville invented to measure how spicy something is. Worldwide, the hottest peppers are the Caroline Reaper (from 1,569,300 to 2,200,000 Shu), the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (1,463,700 Shu), the Nava Viper (1,382,000 Shu), the Infinity Chilli (1,067,000 Shu), and the Naga Jolokia (1,041,000 Shu). In Italy, the hottest chilli pepper in Calabria is about 15,000 Shu, while others are around 5,000. Here we’ll take a look at how to make the hot sauce that spices up the Calabrese cuisine.



200 g hot red peppers

2 garlic cloves

Extra virgin olive oil


Wash the peppers and slice them open, remove the seeds, then blend them together with the two cloves of garlic and salt until minced. Add the olive oil to obtain a dense and creamy consistency. If you don’t want to use all the sauce right away, before adding the oil, drain them overnight to get rid of all the water. Once drained, the peppers can be placed in sterilized glass containers.