“Teaching Americans to stop being pansies about spicy food since 1980”
~Huy Fong Foods Slogan
Sriracha hot sauce is basically an elixir. It tastes good on just about anything, and the American culinary experience has improved vastly now that a bunch of restaurants have realized that it’s better to have a bottle of the stuff on their table than boring old ketchup. Now, sriracha is considered a generic term, but let’s be honest, it’s the chili sauce that you get from Huy Fong Foods, which was founded in 1980 in America by David Tran, a Vietnamese-American immigrant who mastered his chili sauce recipe while living in Vietnam. When the Vietnamese government began cracking down on ethnic Chinese living in south Vietnam (rude), he hopped on a freighter with three thousand refugees to make his way to America. That freighter, Huey Fong, would end up inspiring the name of his ship when, two year, he began his hot sauce company.
The sauce was first only available at Asian restaurants in Chinatown, Los Angeles, but sales grew due to word of mouth, since it’s basically crack in a bottle. By 2009, it had gone mainstream, and by 2012 they were selling over 20 million bottles a year. In that time, it has come and gone as a food fad, but in its remains are the fact that, now, you can get almost anything in a Sriracha flavor. And a lot of those things are good. We’re going to tell you about some good things now.
Best Sriracha-Flavored Products
“This is madness. Delicious, bourbon-y madness.”
When an American distillery makes a bourbon, they’re left with two things—many bottles of delicious drunk juice, and a barrel that set them back $120 that can’t be reused but is still saturated with delicious bourbon flavor. As in, legally, you cannot reuse a bourbon barrel to make another bourbon. It’s a one-and-done proposition. So, for decades, bourbon barrels were either discarded or sold to college students,
Then, in 1992, an at-the-time-relatively-unknown Chicago brewery called Goose Island released a beer called the Bourbon County Stout, and this happened. Before eventually being bought out by Budweiser in an acquisition that was lamented on this very page, the concept of re-using bourbon barrels on products besides other whiskeys began to grow with Bourbon County Stout’s increasing popularity, and in the past several years we’ve not only seen dozens of beers that spend time aging in used bourbon barrels appear on the market, we’ve seen dozens of completely non-beer-related products that spend time in bourbon barrels got up for sale. Literally dozens.
The wisest and most magnanimous among us know that adding bourbon to anything makes it delicious and American, and we can literally think of nothing that isn’t improved by the introduction of bourbon. Have an empty glass and the distinct feeling you’ve wasted the last 15 years of your life? Boom, put some bourbon in there and watch your worries melt away. It’s 3AM and the last woman left at the bar looks like a goblin who manages a Wal-Mart? Bam, bourbon yourself up, next thing you know you’ll swear you’re taking home 1998-era Cindy Crawford. Your new baby from the aforementioned ill-advised union won’t shut up and you’ve got a hangover? Boo-ya, drunk babies don’t cry, that’s fucking science. So with that in mind, we’re going to list of fifteen products that, on their own are good, but when aged in bourbon, are incredible. (Except for a few gross ones).
Fifteen Bourbon Barrel-Aged Products of America
Posted in Alcohol, Giver of Life, Whiskey and Bourbon
Tagged angel's share, barrel-aged, barrel-aged beer, BLiS, Bloody Mary, Bloody Marys, Bourbon, bourbon barrel, bourbon barrel-aged cocktails, bourbon barrels, Bourbon County Stout, bourbon hot sauce, cigar, Cigars, cocktails, Corazon, fish sauce, Gin, goose the market, Hot Sauce, hot toddy, irish coffee, kikkoman, maple syrup, Meat, Perdomo, smoking goose, Sosu, soy sauce, Sriracha, Tea, tequila, the angel's share, vanilla extract, Whiskey, Worcestershire sauce
“Well, that was one of the more unnecessarily sweet vomits I’ve ever had.”
~Novelty-flavored vodka drinkers
We’ve discussed the nuanced philosophy behind flavored vodkas in the past, but here it is again. Vodka exists as a neutral spirit, which is both a blessing and a curse. Vodka earns its keep for American drunks by finding a way to let orange juice get you drunk, but its ability to meld with various flavors means that, more than any other type of alcohol, liquor companies will churn it out in dozens, if not hundreds, of different and often unnecessary varieties. And we get it, we really do. Some people don’t like the taste of alcohol and want to get drunk fast by putting four shots of raspberry vodka into a cup of fruit punch. We remember being nine years old too.
As much as you might assume that fruity-tasting alcohol is somehow less American than whiskey, well, you’d be right, but flavored vodkas are still perfectly acceptable in polite society, and in the case of downing shots might even be preferable to the unflavored variety (every drinker over the age of 18 has long ago lost their ability to down a shot of straight, unflavored vodka without their stomach reminding them of the time they did vodka shots until they puked).
But just because we drink black cherry vodka like it’s water, or can add cucumber vodka to a Bloody Mary with delicious results, doesn’t mean that all vodka flavors are created equal. That’s why we’re returning after a long vodka-article hiatus to present our third article about the strangest, most unnecessary vodka flavors in America. Because why drink alcohol that makes you seem like you’ve retained some semblance of your sanity when you can get drunk on something that tastes like a freshly mown lawn. That’s not a joke flavor, by the way.
America’s Strangest Vodka Flavors (Part 3)
Posted in Alcohol, Giver of Life, Strange Alcohol, Vodka
Tagged 360 Vodka, America, Bloody Mary, Cinnabon, flavored vodka, fresh cut grass vodka, fruit loops, fruit loops vodka, Holiday Inn Express, king cake, king cake vodka, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, PInnacle, Pinnacle vodka, Sriracha, Sriracha vodka, Three Olives, vodka, Vodka Flavors, waffle vodka, waffles
“…Gas? GAS! GAAASSSSSS! MASKS ON! MASKS ON GODDAMN IT! OH GOD TOO LATE!!!!”
~Residents of Irwindale, CA
The American Evolution Of Seasoning and Spicy Foods
Posted in America's Best Foods, America's Greatest Fun Facts
Tagged America, Candy, Capsaicin, Capsicum frutescens, chicken, chili peppers, Edmund McIlhenny, Edward Avery McIlhenny, jalapeño peppers, John Avery McIlhenny, Motel 6, Rough Riders, salt, seasonings, Spicy, Spicy Food, Sriracha, steak, Tabasco, Teddy Roosevelt