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I Went On The Sriracha Factory Tour

As The Oatmeal comic says, Sriracha is the savior of cheap, crappy Asian food, and actually, all food in general. If you don’t know what Sriracha is, it’s the yummy spicy red sauce that comes in this bottle:

It tastes good on everything. Seriously.

Lately here in Southern California, Sriracha’s maker Huy Fong Foods had gotten into a little bit of trouble about the odor of its Irwindale factory. In short, residents and neighbors said the smell from the factory was causing health issues. A judge even ordered a partial shutdown.  Earlier this month, the company announced that they’re offering free tours for everyone to prove just how awesome it smells. 

I took said tour, because my bottle of Sriracha is one of the most beloved items in my kitchen. Whenever I mess up a dish or make a bad decision when it comes to takeout, Sriracha is my hero. Also, did I mention the tour was free?

About that smell: It smelled a bit like peppers and chilies, but I’d be weirded out if it didn’t. They were actually done with harvesting and chilies for the season (which is from August to December), so I didn’t get to see or smell any peppers in action. They’re all in barrels now, waiting to be made into Sriracha…

Sriracha gets all the glory and is super trendy, but Huy Fong makes two other sauces: Chili Garlic Sauce and Sambal Oelek, which is pure chilies. At the end of the tour, I got a free mini bottle for filling out an “Odor Survey.” Since smell-o-internet hasn’t been invented yet, here are some more photos. Sorry they’re not scratch-n-sniff.

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