What’s so hot about Sriracha?

 
By Mina Radman • Published: March 27th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Sriracha is the hottest hot sauce at the moment. It’s so popular that you can buy bottles in bulk, eat a Sriracha-flavored potato chip or buy cookbooks focused on Sriracha-infused recipes. Chefs across the county use the sauce as a main ingredient in meals, and the Asian hot sauce can be found all over the place: in pizza parlors, five-star restaurants and grocery store aisles.

But what’s so special about it? Ask a Sriracha lover that question, and he or she will likely say that it’s unlike anything else. Everyone tastes Sriracha differently. It’s a puree of chilies, garlic, vinegar and sugar, and it can be tangy, overly spicy or just the right amount of kick, depending on your taste buds.

Although companies have produced it for years, the Sriracha craze didn’t take off until a California-based company Huy (Hoy) Fong Foods began selling its sauce in a green-capped bottle with a rooster on the outside. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Rooster sauce,’ this sauce is the most popular Sriracha sauce and costs between $3 and $5 for a bottle. The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told the Boston Globe that students use more than 60 bottles of Sriracha in dining halls each week.

Sriracha also benefits your health. The chilies contain capsaicin, which helps with weight loss, and the garlic can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. You can use Sriracha sauce to complement any meal, but fans say it works best with Asian-inspired foods. Curious about how you can make your own Sriracha? The Los Angeles Times test kitchen developed a D-I-Y recipe for the sauce using jalapeños, garlic, rice vinegar, salt and brown sugar. If you don’t want to make it yourself, buy a bottle of rooster-sauce and try it with your next meal. Maybe you’ll become the newest Sriracha aficionado.