|Poster for the 30-min documentary.|
On the cooking shows I hear this a lot:
What I made for you today is a roasted pork loin encrusted with panko on a pea puree and a small green salad topped with Sriracha.”
What is Sriracha?!?! I keep hearing that sauce mentioned. Is it something a chef makes himself, like Hollandaise? Does it come in a bottle? Is it a powder? What it is exactly?
I decided to find out. So of course I went to Hulu. There is a sweet and interesting 30-minute documentary on Sriracha’s production, its history, and its invention. I enjoyed it so much!
Apparently this wonderful condiment has been gaining popularity to an astounding degree. Equally astounding is that despite its massive popularity and phenomenal growth over thirty years, it is still under the radar in most locations in the US. And despite the Asian characters on the bottle, it IS produced in the US, it always has been. But by a Vietnamese immigrant. Huffington Post has a recap:
If David Tran were a more conventional CEO, he would be a fixture at conferences, a darling of magazine profiles, and a subject of case studies in the Harvard Business Review. Sriracha hot sauce, made by Huy Fong Foods, which Tran founded 33 years ago in Los Angeles, is one of the coolest brands in town. There are entire cookbooks written to celebrate Sriracha’s versatility; memorabilia ranging from iPhone covers to t-shirts and all sorts of other swag; a documentary in the works to chronicle its rise; and innumerable imitators. Sriracha sales last year reached some 20 million bottles to the tune of $60 million dollars, percentage sales growth is in the double digits each year, and it does all this without spending a cent on advertising.
Bon Appétit magazine declared the sauce the ingredient of the year back in 2010, and Cook’s Illustrated called it the best-tasting hot sauce in 2012. Though it didn’t win, Sriracha was one of three new flavors chosen in Lays potato chips’ new flavor contest last year.
Have you heard of it? I had not, until this summer when I began watching Top Chef, Food Network Star and MasterChef as I usually do in the lazy summer months. I started picking up on the fact that the sauce was named often in the dishes the chefs were preparing and presenting.
I decided that I’d like to get some and try it. Would my little mom and pop grocery store in Danielsville or the Dollar General in tiny Comer Georgia stock this condiment?
The answer is yes. My interest and their carrying the item matched up in time- the sticker at the Dollar General in Comer said “New item!” I do believe that if Sriracha is being carried on Comer…it has truly arrived.