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How to Find Chili Sauce

Do they sell chili sauce? And if I have to make it, do I have to put peppers in it? I'm making a meal that calls for a 1/2 cup of chili sauce! Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now calm right down. In this country chili sauce need have nothing to do with chili (or with chiles, either).

Yes, you can buy bottles of chili sauce in the grocery store. They are found in the condiments section. Most varieties (you will probably not be able to find more than one or two varieties) are little more than chunky ketchup. They may be slightly spicy, but we have found some chili sauces that are awfully bland.

The ingredients for the leading brand includes tomato puree, white vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, corn syrup, dehydrated onions, spice, garlic powder, and natural flavoring. (The only difference between ingredients of the same company's ketchup is the omission of garlic powder, though of course the quantities of ingredients and how they are processed surely varies.) There are other brands here and there that include red bell peppers, pickles, mustard, and other ingredients. Of course, they all include that catch-all ingredient Natural Flavoring, and who knows what that includes?

There are also many varieties of Asian chili sauce on the market, ranging from sweet to hot, and they make much better use of sweet peppers and chile peppers. They are found in the ethnic sections of well-stocked supermarkets, in Asian markets, and online. Unless your recipe clearly has an Asian orientation, you can use plain, white-bread-American chili sauce, or, in a pinch, ketchup with perhaps a whisper of garlic powder added.

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