In the US, even hot sauce leaves a distinctly sugary aftertaste. Sweet is king here.
Hot sauce is not really hot, either, nothing like the blindingly hot concoction that numbs you like a fiery and corrosive alternative of a dentist’s injection.
In a way I cannot really pin down, intensity is not appreciated here. I was talking with a Turkish colleague yesterday, it was relaxing to be with someone intense and frank. Even the Brits can be intense, not overwhelming, not too strong, but intense. Americans, even New Yorkers, seem like they prefer to maintain a level of non-noxiousness (I wouldn’t call it innocuousness). Having said that, maybe this is just a Yankee thing. Probably is. Maybe they know about hot sauce in the South. I bet they do.