What is Sriracha and Why Do People Love It?
Chefs call Sriracha ‘Rooster Sauce’. Others call it the best all-around hot sauce on the planet. One can serve Sriracha with almost any other dish. From scrambled eggs to pizzas and pastas and grilled meats, this spicy condiment can add a definitive kick to one’s dining experience. So, what is this condiment and why are people going crazy over it?
Origins of Sriracha
No one can be certain about the actual origin of Sriracha (the Sriracha pronunciation is ‘see-ROTCH-ah’). There are those who say that Burmese sawmill workers in Si Racha, Thailand were the first to make this kind of spicy condiment. They bought their ingredients from the store of Thanom Chakkapak. Curious about what the Burmese workers were making, Chakkapak made the sauce herself. It was an instant hit among her family and friends. She began producing the hot sauce for commercial purposes.
There are also those who say that it was Madam La Orr Suwanprasop who first produced Sriracha in 1932. Unlike Chakkapak, Suwanprasop was able to market her product in Bangkok right away. This led people to believe that the original Sriracha is the one that Suwanprasop produced.
Regardless of the actual Sriracha origin, it is safe to say that this spicy condiment is made in Thailand.
Sriracha Nutrition Profile
Like any hot sauce, Sriracha contains chili peppers, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic. These are the five basic ingredients that go into the making of a Sriracha sauce. Given that these ingredients are very basic, it is easy to see why ordinary people can make one at home.
To understand more about this sauce, let us try to look at the Sriracha nutrition profile.
A teaspoon of this condiment does not contain significant amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. However, it does contain about a gram of sugar and 100 mg of sodium. These are the only substances that one can derive from this kind of spicy sauce.
It is still possible to obtain other nutrients coming from the different ingredients. For instance, a clove of garlic contains 0.2 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrates. It also contains vitamin A, C, and K. There is also Vitamin B6, choline, calcium, iron, potassium, and other minerals. Chili peppers, on the other hand, also contain vitamins and minerals. They also contain bioactive compounds that can bring a host of benefits to the human body.
Why Do People Love Sriracha?
There is nothing spectacular about Sriracha nutrition that can make people excited about it. However, the secret is in two compounds that are present in peppers used in the manufacture of Sriracha. These compounds help stimulate the production of TRPV1 protein. This is a very special kind of protein that plays a role in the secretion of endorphins.
It is this endorphin-releasing capability of Sriracha that makes people go crazy about the hot sauce. It makes them feel good in the same manner as eating a box of chocolates, completing an exercise, or having sex. When people eat foods with Sriracha, they feel happy and contented.
Vegans love Sriracha, too. This condiment does not include animal-based ingredients that can contradict their philosophy. This also answers the question, is Sriracha vegan?
Sriracha is also not very spicy compared to other sauces. On the average, Sriracha can have anywhere between 1,000 and 2,500 Scoville heat units. Tabasco has about 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat units. The Carolina Reaper can scorch your tongue with Scoville units as high as 2 million. This gives Sriracha a more tolerable heat profile, making it a favorite even among people who do not like spicy foods.
Uses of Sriracha
Knowing what does Sriracha taste like will help you understand its different uses. We already mentioned that it is not very spicy. It is also tangy because of the vinegar and sweet courtesy of the sugar. It can also have a hint of pungency because of the garlic.
This makes the Sriracha a good all-around condiment. You can use it as a dipping sauce, whether alone or in combination with cream cheese, sour cream, or mayonnaise. It can also be a great addition to ramen, gazpacho, chowder, and tomato soup. Barbecue sauces and teriyaki marinades can have a different flavor profile with the addition of this hot sauce. You can also use it to coat chicken wings or rub on different meats. It can impart a ‘kick’ to your cheese and egg dishes. You can also give your vegetable juice or Bloody Mary a new twist with this condiment.
It is not surprising why people love Sriracha. It has a mild spiciness to it that makes it a great addition to many dishes.
- Sriracha – Wikipedia
- Sriracha Obsession: How Did The Rooster Sauce Get So Popular? – HuffPost