Sriracha is a condiment with a cult following. It's inspired web comics, a Lay's chip flavor, a documentary and a festival in downtown Los Angeles. It's even worked its way onto NPR's recipe blogs, space normally reserved for lentils, eggplants and handmade pickles.
But no one can fly so high without getting burned, or at least causing burning sensations for other people, as the Los Angeles Times reports. This year Huy Fong, the company that produces Sriracha, moved its factory to Irwindale, California, about 20 miles from L.A. And just a couple months into production, the city is suing the company to stop production until they can do something about the smell.
The fumes from the Huy Fong factory have settled over the town like a cloud of mild tear gas. Residents are complaining of unending headaches and burning throats and eyes.
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The sauce may be delicious, but it's not surprising something that leans so heavily on onion and garlic flavor can be pungent. But the real aggressor is the peppers. All of the chile peppers used in a year's worth of sauce is processed in a three-month period that started in September.
Huy Fong representatives have said that there are already filters in place, though they're working to reduce the smell. As yet, they say they've received no citations. A judge is expected to issue an order on Thursday, and so far there's no word on what effects a delay in chile processing during this three-month window would have on the world supply of Sriracha for the next year. This could mean disastrous consequences for those of us who have come to rely on the rooster sauce to blot out the taste of our mediocre cooking skills.
A possible solution comes from Denton City Council Member Kevin Roden, who tweeted: As Siracha is in legal battle with their current city, we are working to bring them to Denton. Spread the word. #Siracha2Denton
Let's hope he gets the spelling right when he's contacting Huy Fong.