Saturday, June 6, 2009
Robert Yager for The New York Times
David Tran, foreground above, with his son, William, at the Huy Fong Foods warehouse in Rosemead, Calif.
AFTER-HOURS calls to Huy Fong Foods, here in the suburbs of the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles, are intercepted by an answering machine. One recent day, 14 messages were blinking when Donna Lam, the operations manager, hit “play.”
A woman told of smearing Huy Fong’s flagship product, Tuong Ot Sriracha (Sriracha Chili Sauce), on multigrain snack chips. A man proclaimed the purée of fresh red jalapeños, garlic powder, sugar, salt and vinegar to be “the bomb,” and thanked Ms. Lam’s employers for “much joy and pleasure.”
Another caller, hampered by a slight slur, botched the pronunciation of the product name before asking whether discount pricing might be available. Finally, he blurted, “I love rooster sauce!” (A strutting rooster, gleaming white against a backdrop of the bright red sauce, dominates Huy Fong’s trademark green-capped clear plastic squeeze bottles.)
“I guess it goes with alcohol,” deadpanned Ms. Lam, who, like David Tran, the 64-year-old founder of Huy Fong and creator of its sauce, is both proud of the product’s popularity and flummoxed by fans’ devotion.
The lure of Asian authenticity is part of the appeal. Some American consumers believe sriracha (properly pronounced SIR-rotch-ah) to be a Thai sauce. Others think it is Vietnamese. The truth is that sriracha, as manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, may be best understood as an American sauce, a polyglot purée with roots in different places and peoples.
It’s become a sleeve trick for chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
At the restaurant Perry St., in New York City, Mr. Vongerichten’s rice-cracker-crusted tuna with citrus sauce has always relied on the sweet, garlicky heat of sriracha. More recently, he has honed additional uses. “The other night, I used some of the green-cap stuff with asparagus,” Mr. Vongerichten said. “It’s well balanced, perfect in a hollandaise.”
In Houston, at the restaurant Reef, Bryan Caswell, a veteran of Mr. Vongerichten’s kitchens, stirs sriracha into the egg wash he uses to batter fried foods, from crab cakes to oysters to onion rings. “It’s not heavily fermented, it’s not acidic,” said Mr. Caswell, who has won a devoted following for the sriracha rémoulade he often serves with such fried dishes. “It burns your body, not your tongue.”
Sriracha has proved relevant beyond the epicurean realm. Wal-Mart sells the stuff. So do mom-and-pop stores, from Bristol, Tenn., to Bisbee, Ariz.
Sriracha is a key ingredient in street food: The two Kogi trucks that travel the streets of Los Angeles, vending kimchi-garnished tacos to the young, hip and hungry, provide customers with just one condiment, Huy Fong sriracha.
Recently, Huy Fong’s sriracha found its place in the suburbs. Applebee’s has begun serving fried shrimp with a mix of mayonnaise and Huy Fong sriracha. They followed P. F. Chang’s, another national chain, which began using it in 2000, and now features battered and fried green beans with a sriracha-spiked dipping sauce, as well as a refined riff on what both Applebee’s and P. F. Chang’s call dynamite shrimp.
For Mr. Tran, of Chinese heritage but born in Vietnam, neither sriracha-spiked hollandaise nor sriracha-topped tacos with kimchi translate easily.
“I made this sauce for the Asian community,” Mr. Tran said one recent afternoon, seated at headquarters, near a rooster-shaped crystal sculpture.
“I knew, after the Vietnamese resettled here, that they would want their hot sauce for their pho,” a beef broth and noodle soup that is a de facto national dish of Vietnam. “But I wanted something that I could sell to more than just the Vietnamese,” he continued.
“After I came to America, after I came to Los Angeles, I remember seeing Heinz 57 ketchup and thinking: ‘The 1984 Olympics are coming. How about I come up with a Tran 84, something I can sell to everyone?’ ”
What Mr. Tran developed in Los Angeles in the early 1980s was his own take on a traditional Asian chili sauce. In Sriracha, a town in Chonburi Province, Thailand, where homemade chili pastes are favored, natives do not recognize Mr. Tran’s purée as their own. - linked by iris!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
IN GOD I TRUST, IN SHROOMS I DON'T
REDONDO BEACH, Calif., June 4 (UPI) -- Professional skateboarder Jereme Rogers has apologized for a naked rooftop rant at his Redondo Beach, Calif., home, officials said.
Jereme Rogers, 24, allegedly went on his roof naked early Monday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
The newspaper said he preached from his rooftop before Redondo Beach Police Lt. Jim Acquarelli climbed onto the roof and talked him down.
Rogers apologized Wednesday, saying he had eaten some psychedelic mushrooms that caused him to "bug out."
Rogers was hospitalized for observation and then released. Police said he may face charges, the newspaper reported.
Double dipped by CURBS ONLY at 9:55 PM
BIG IN JAPAN
new autumn shirts. lee harvey and the patsys singing their single "you hurt my feelings jack ruby"
rakowitz famed tompkins square park human flesh, squater, eater, cook
making wallets for the max fish flea market this sunday. beginning stages, i'm actually still working on them right now, blog breaks
SUMMER COME ALONG
gettin' i t
the missing shoeprint
a real dead baby. sad.
made it to the esteemed lennon exhibit and tried to take a picture of the welcoming poster and i couldn't get the glare out of his face
snuck in this photo of steve vai's shredding sticker job
Ebony-brown and Ivory-Yellow join forces once again
Fact:Guacamole cures anxiety
Fact:Taco eating never looked so exciting!
Zered, skate mime. this trick is pretty cool whatever he called it, a hospital? i think
jamie jaime. i've been compiling skate footage of female homies the past year and a half on my sony handycam. one day i want to edit it all and have some kind of thing to share on youtube or something. it's gotta be legit though, so it'll take a while like everything else i plan on doing.
tommy jeff meets kanye eye cuts
tony farmer, fashion report: sockless black men's loafers
damian, fashion report: men's boho unbraids, native patriot
cyd mullen, fashion report: positive human, holga holder
kea, fashion report: your competition
nord, fashion report: fashion unreport
newport's cardigan hangin' loose
do not have a baby if it will come out like an earless conehead with a small chin. i think they forgot to mention the rows of sharp teeth and the fact it will only sleep upright and only respond to the name Dan Aykroyd.
I don't understand how anyone could keep riding wheels this small. At that point, skateboarding is completely pointless and one should resort to walking.
Chinatown decorum. How is this miniature freakshow not distracting? I'd be tempted to remember all of their names while I was driving and wonder which ones weren't getting along that day.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
The explosion caused by the bomb dropped by America on Nagasaki in August of 1945. That bomb carried a payload of 22 kilotons, roughly two kilotons stronger than the one tested by North Korea on Monday
Rally: North Korean soldiers, officials and people celebrate the firing of a second nuclear missile
DAL SANTO RISING
marisa holding it down with a legit 11 tries. balls to the fucking walllllll bitch kills it.
unfamiliar brazilian red pants
Elissa's been the only chick to have tried the big four in the last ten years. the fact three females came through this weekend to jump down this 18 foot concrete nightmare is sick. this gap is no fucking joke. you will get broke the fuck off. marisa gets broke the ef off, her glasses come flying off. dudewise, lizard king's ollie onto the last stair is probably one of the sickest things i've seen in a while. lindsey robertson's back heel. fucking proper. i can't believe how many people were at this thing, there's fucking booths in the background like asr style and a towering sky cam. weird. photos courtesy of lisa whitaker at thesideproject.com
Double dipped by CURBS ONLY at 1:10 PM