Sriracha: Not What You Think

The Red Rooster Legacy

I’m going to tell you about Huy Fong Foods brand  of Sriracha hot sauce. Why? Because it goes on pretty much everything I eat – quiche, hot dogs, burgers, salads, sushi, fried chicken, and even into cookies. This is a story of substance…spicy substance.

You may be well on your way to enjoying spicy cookies, too. Just keep reading.

Rooster Sauce = Best Friend

Who would have ever thought that so much love and desire could be packaged into a convenient plastic squeeze bottle… and yet here before me stands the proof. The red rooster of flavor is a proud Thai creation (or is it?) spicing up the taste buds of millions of individuals across the globe. Sriracha, however, or “rooster sauce,” actually has a secret. It’s actually an American creation.

Sriracha History:

Although many believe that Sriracha is of Thai (because of the spicyness?) or Vietnamese (certainly a staple of pho restaurants) origin, the truth of the matter is that it is an old fashioned American marvel.

And like all things American, it is a hodgepodge of the best ingredients from all over the world, sprinkled with clever marketing, and topped with multi-cultural appeal to promote its popularity (although the taste alone is certainly enough!).

Developed by Huy Fong Foods (1980) in Los Angeles, CA., Sriracha was not the company’s first creation. Rather, that was a Pepper Sate Sauce. Mr Tran, its founder, of Chinese decent and Vietnamese heritage, created  Sriracha with the intention of providing the Asian-American community with their very own spicy sauce. Speaking in a New York Times interview, Mr. Tran admitted that, “After I came to America, after I came to Los Angeles, I remember seeing Heinz 57 ketchup and thinking: ‘The 1984 Olympics are coming. How about I come up with a Tran 84, something I can sell to everyone?’ ”

He wanted something he could sell to groups other than just the Vietnamese. He wanted to capitalize on the unique blend of cultural heritage that had been brewing in California – that American spirit – of the melting pot of the world. To do this, Tran threw global appeal into Sriracha’s packaging – the labels read in English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish and French – and listed serving suggestions for food that was both Asian and American. Thus, Mr. Tran seized upon good ol’ capitalism and thank goodness he did!

Sriracha Ingredients:

Rooster sauce uses a number of key ingredients, first and foremost comes the red jalapeno. This is what gives this delicious stuff its spicy kick and deep red color. In addition, this puree of goodness gives thanks to vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic powder.

Sriracha Impostors:

Make no mistake, there is no other chile sauce like Sriracha. You can go to just about any Asian market and see an isle crammed full of red bottle lookalikes but none will have that authentic Sriracha taste. Many will taste like watered down versions – runny and lame – compared to the original. Others brands will be too lumpy, too sweet, too sour, etc. IF you want the good stuff then go with Sriracha the original red rooster.

Sriracha Lovers:

Still don’t believe me? Check out this tattoo – no, that’s not me – but I’m not the only one with an addiction it would seem!

No, that's not my leg mom...

PS. No, the Huy Fong Foods company did NOT pay me to put a plug in about Sriracha; this was a post of 100% love.


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