Skip to main content

Sriracha Hot Sauce: A torrid love-affair

In case you've never seen this lovely, dangerous green-topped bottle sitting on the table at your favorite Asian restaurant...I introduce you to Sriracha hot sauce. It is a devil, a temptress, a delicious condiment and yet a feared adversary not to be trifled with.

I use Sriracha on just about everything you could conceivably use hot-sauce on: meat, eggs, potatoes, vegetables, anything that needs a kick in the ass where flavor is concerned. And believe me, Sriracha will give your food a kick in the ass--and give you a kick in the solar plexus.

The thing about Sriracha is it's not immediately hot when you put it in your mouth. No, when it first hits your tongue it has a complex, earthy kind of chili-pepper flavor. It's thick and robust, like tomato sauce almost, not thin and acidic like the "Nuclear Hellfire" hotsauce you see in souvenir stores or what have you. No, this is actually almost like a chili relish at first.

However, somewhere between swallowing and digesting, it hits you. You will find your esophagus burning and your eyes filling with tears as you dab your next bite of food into it, all the while eyeballing that glass (two glasses) of water you've carefully placed next to you. Then after about ten minutes, that burn starts to set in on your tongue and you're in for a long ride.

Eating Sriracha is almost a contest: can you successfully use it to flavor your food, while not giving yourself an ulcer or a trip to the emergency room??? At the same time, it's like going into battle: you feel a sense of danger, a thrill each time you reach for the bottle, not knowing if you'll be able to do it this time. Wondering if this time...this time the great Sriracha will beat you down for good. But it's a battle worth fighting.


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review: "The Apologizer" by Milan Kundera

Issue: May 4, 2015

Rating: $$

Review: It took me five years and three separate attempts to finish Milan Kundera's famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but in spite of that, quotes and insights from that book still rattle round my head on a weekly basis. What I mean to say is: my feelings on Kundera are very similar to my feelings on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy reading his work, but in small doses, like this short story.

Like Murakami, Kundera uses elements of magical realism, but where in a Murakami story you might encounter a flying dolphin or a disappearing hotel or a person who has lived his whole life in the same room, refusing to leave, Kundera's magical realism offers more direct insights and perspective on real life.

In Kundera's worlds, time and space are malleable and everything that ever happened in history is happening at the same time, and the narrator is a completely omniscient, caring, witty, and hands-on god-like being.

And so it is with "The Apo…

New Yorker Fiction Reviews: "Meet the President!" by Zadie Smith

Each week I review the short fiction from a recent issue of The New Yorker. If you told me when I was 12 that I'd be doing this I'd have been like, "Dork. There's no such thing as blogs," and I'd have been right...

Issue: Aug. 12 & 19, 2013

Story: "Meet the President!"

Author:Zadie Smith

(Please note: I've developed a highly sophisticated grading system, which I'll be using from now on.  Each story will now receive a Final Grade of either READ IT or DON'T READ it. See the bottom of the review for this story's grade...after you've read the review, natch.)

Plot: Set in England, far into the future (lets say 2113) a privileged youth of 15, named Bill Peek, encounters a few poor villagers from a small, abandoned coastal town on the southeast shore. He meets a little girl named Aggie, who is going to her sister's funeral. Peek is cut-off from real life by a sophisticated video game system that is implanted in his head, therefore th…

A Piece of Advice I Learned From My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the most learned men I know. He read widely and voraciously, and not just in the sciences (he was a doctor); he loved politics, philosophy, and great literature as well. Whenever he finished a book he would write his thoughts about the book in the front cover and then sign and date it. To this day every once in a while I will open a book from my bookshelf or my mother's bookshelf, or at one of my family members' homes, and there will be my grandfather's handwriting. He was also a great giver of his books; if you remarked that you liked a particular one or wanted to read it, you were almost sure to take it home with you.

Reading is a very solitary pursuit but my grandfather was not a solitary person. He relished having family and friends around him which is convenient because he was blessed with a lot of both. And he carried out his intellectual life in a very "public" way as well. He was, in some ways, an intellectual evangelist. If he r…