If you're a fan of Sriracha, you've undoubtedly heard of the trouble surrounding the California plant that produces the sauce. For those of you who have had your head in a bowl of pho the past few weeks, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered a plant that makes the hot sauce be partially shut down in late November. Area residents were complaining of headaches, burning eyes and irritated throats and noses because of the millions of red jalepeño peppers the plant was processing. The news blew up the internet people predicted the #Srirachapocalypse.
But what you may not know is that the folks behind Texas Pete hot sauce have come up with a solution that will sate your need for spicy chilies in liquid form. They're calling it Sriracha Cha! sauce, and they want you to know the release of this not-so-perfect copy-sauce has nothing to do with the stymied California plant.
It's actually called "Cha!," because lawyers tend to be sticklers about such things. And just to make sure all the bases are covered, the sauce "has been in development for more than a year," according to the press release. In other words, it's not a coincidence at all that a product in development for more than a year magically appears on the market within three weeks of the news that its biggest competitor has its peppers back up against the ropes.
With that cleared up, descriptions of Cha! read a lot like descriptions of the Sriracha sauce you're used to buying in a clear plastic bottle with a green cap. Expect a "fiery blend of heat and sweet" and an "almost addictive flavor."
And that's where Cha really starts to lose me. A true #Srirachapocalypse can only be fueled by a legion of hopelessly addicted Sriracha junkies -- users that can't enjoy a single morsel of nutrition without an accompanying squeeze bottle fix. If Cha! is only "almost addictive" then it doesn't stand a chance against the real Sriracha, which can reduce grown men to cowering heaps in front of sizzling stone bowls, on the off chance they won't have enough Sriracha to get through their bibimbop.
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The other thing that's wrong with Cha!? There's no rooster on the bottle. Sriracha fans are devoted to the rooster, are in love with the rooster, going as far to regularly call the stuff rooster sauce. Some, with a bit more edge and a desire to save syllables, go with cock sauce. It's just not Sriracha if ain't got no cock and I don't see Texas Pete pulling this one off.