It’s common knowledge that the spicy condiment affectionately known as rooster sauce makes just about everything better — but how much do you know about how Sriracha is actually made? Hyperbeast recently went behind the scenes at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, California to find out everything they could. Even better, they took a camera crew with them and assembled their findings into one neat-o video. If, like me, you were the kind of kid that was fascinated by those Sesame Street segments that went into a crayon factory and later grew up to love Unwrapped, you’re going to enjoy this one immensely.
We learned a little bit about the history of Huy Fong Foods when Modern Farmer into why there’s a rooster on the label of the beloved spicy sauce back in October; we only just began to scratch the surface of it then, though, so there’s plenty in this new video that you probably didn’t know. For example, did you know that Huy Fong Foods is named for the boat that carried the company’s founder and CEO, David Tran, from Vietnam to Hong Kong in 1978? Or that they’re still making Sriracha according to the exact same recipe Tran originally developed, with then only difference being the use of slightly spicier chilies? Cool, right?
Here’s the short version of exactly what goes into turning those lovely little red peppers into the condiment of whatever deity you prefer; scroll down to watch the whole thing. Oh, and if you want more, rooster sauce has even been the subject of its own documentary. Called Sriracha (of course), it’s available for download via Vimeo On Demand. Get ready to breathe some fire!
1. The Farmers Pick the Chilies
To ensure that the chilies remain fresh, the farms have to be located incredibly close to the Sriracha factory. And I’m not kidding when I say “incredible close”; the peppers make their way to the factory within three to four hours of being picked.
2. The Chilies Are Processed
Once they get to the factory, the chilies are washed, ground, and preserved in vinegar with salt and minced garlic. Then they’re put into barrels for storage. Fun fact: Fresh chilies are only picked once a year — hence the whole preservation process. They preserve an entire year’s worth of chilies all in one go.
3. The Sauce Is Bottled
Neat-o, right? The bottles all feature green nozzles to represent the stem of a fresh chili. According to Tran, if the stem is yellow or dark, the chili isn’t fresh.
Watch the full video below:
Images: Hyperbeast/YouTube (4)