hot sauce, spicy barbecue sauce, and other sauces made with hot peppers or capsaicin. Apparently the tax would be based on the heat level of the sauce as measured in Scoville Units, so that the hotter the sauce, the higher the tax. Information is just now getting out on this hot breaking story, but apparently the tax effort is being spearheaded by politicians and lobbyists from states in regions of the country traditionally known for their bland cuisine, including New England and the Midwest. Predictably, strong opposition to the proposed hot sauce tax is being voiced by representatives from states known for their spicy foods, chili pepper consumption or pepper production, including New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest. Upon learning of the capsaicin taxation proposal, one executive at a well-known hot sauce manufacturer (who later requested to remain anonymous), reportedly blurted out, "This proposal is in extremely poor taste, and it's time to mail Naga Jolokia ghost peppers to Congress to let them know the heat is on!" Some political analysts are now forecasting that by the 2012 election the nation will no longer be divided into Blue and Red states, but rather into Beige (bland, pro-hot sauce tax) and Red (spicy, anti-hot sauce tax) states.
As word spreads, a loose coalition of hot sauce and BBQ sauce manufacturers, retailers and consumers incensed over the tax are organizing rallies and protests, including the formation of a new party, the Fiery-Foods Fans Opposed to Outrageous Levies on Sauces Party. If you enjoy hot sauces and other fiery fare, now is the time to act: Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them you oppose the hot sauce tax, join your local FFFOOLS Party (or organize one if your area doesn't have a chapter yet), and most importantly, support your favorite hot sauce and barbecue sauce outlets--such as the Carolina Sauce Company--as we fight this assault on our tastebuds.