America continues its lovefest with Sriracha chile sauce. Every few months, I hear about a new rendition. I've made my own, done tastings, and tried the original Sriracha sauce.
Frank Ball and I started an email conversation long about the popularity of Sriracha chile sauce. He’d read VWK posts about the chile sauce and one day, sent along the above photo from a Bed Bath and Beyond in White Plains, New York. Frank is a former movie maker and author of a terrific book on professional kitchen tips for home cooks. We’ve kept in touch since and this week, he emailed an interesting video made about the production of Huy Fong’s Sriracha hot sauce.
A quick recap: Huy Fong has been making various kinds of Southeast Asian-style chile sauces for decades in a more or less low-key manner. No publicity, no marketing. Owner David Tran was more or less silently manufacturing a lot of hot chile sauce in Los Angeles. He is Chinese-Vietnamese.
In 2014 as things got super heated with his legal battle with the City of Irwindale where his factory is located, he broke his silence. He gave interviews all of a sudden and flexed his muscle. There was local, national and international coverage of the story.
He appeared at Sriracha events like the Los Angeles Chinese American Museum’s Sriracha art exhibit called “LA Heat”. Tran granted an NPR interview to reporter Karen Grigsby Bates. He opened up the Irwindale factory for public tours. He came out of the shadow to show the world that he’s a businessman who runs a transparent operation. It's been a terrific American immigrant story.