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Published:May 29th, 2014 12:17 EST
Is It Possible Tabasco Will Dethroned Sriracha Hot Sauce With Its Rooster Logo? Unlikely!

Is It Possible Tabasco Will Dethroned Sriracha Hot Sauce With Its Rooster Logo? Unlikely!

By John G. Kays

David Tran, the CEO (Huy Fong Foods) and creator of Tuong Ot Sriracha (Sriracha HOT chili sauce with the rooster logo), may`ve won one fight with the City of Irwindale over the purported hot chili pepper pollution his production plant has emitted, however, a new rumble rears its homely head; that fight comes by way of business competition with the powerful giant Tabasco, who`s introducing a Srirachi product of their own, although ever so gingerly. 

 I use Tabasco Hot Sauce some, but am more partial to Chulula (Salsas de Jalisco Cacu, S.A. de C.V.), which I use liberally and freely (in soup, on black beans, and tacos). Yet Tuong Ot Sriracha will get more of my business going forward! Tabasco, obviously, is just jumping an opportunistic ship, plopping down on a profitable bandwagon of a burning-red gravy train (if you see me shifting drift)!

Returning to this scorching two-tiered hot sauce saga, the Irwindale City Council, possibly because it will kill so many jobs and harm the local economy, voted on Wednesday to drop that public nuisance declaration and lawsuit filed on Hoy Fong Foods, imposed last October (The Associated Press). 

This is terrific news! I suspect, the powers that be in Irwindale were losing a public relations battle with the Rooster Man, coming across like the Blue Meanies in the animated Beatles film, Yellow Submarine. David Tran has that kind of populist thing going for him, since his story, which dates aways back to the Vietnam War (it ended in 1975), is a compelling one. He earned it on his own!

I wasn`t that familiar with his story, but found a video on YouTube (CBS This Morning), that gave me a pretty good summary of how Mr. Tran was able to get Huy Fong Foods off the ground. His recipe for Sriracha is a carefully guarded secret, as it should be; I`m sure his competitors would like to crack open his Fort Knox safe (sacred secret sauce formula), purloining the mind-melting, spicy liquid for fodder in their own baking bats! 

I live in Texas, so I`ve never had the privilege of smelling the aromas wafting forth from his percolating plant in Irvindale, California. Can you even smell the aroma in Los Angeles? Them are the lucky ones! The new filters he`s put in place will probably take care of the problem; the pepper harvest season doesn`t come until August, so time will tell.

The CBS This Morning video does reveal some important clues regarding what goes into Tran`s Sriracha hot sauce; well, a ripely fresh, spicy red jalapeno pepper (I haven`t heard of a red one, only a green one), grown at Underwood Farms in Valencia, Ca. (70 miles from Irwindale), is the key, I take it, to the tangy, fiery-tinged flavor, bursting forth from Rooster`s miraculous recipe concoction! 

The video of all those red peppers getting a proper grinding and blending, then getting poured into gargantuan vats, pulverized into tiny red bits and pieces (the Devil`s fire), makes my eyes water profusely, even though the computer screen is bombarding the wrong sense (my eyes, not my nose, stupid!).

PSYCHEDELIC is a good word to describe the sight of processing all those electric red peppers, and of David Tran driving around in a cart, working in his pepper sauce plant, inspiring workers, increasing production, scoring more loyal customers daily, as he goes about his business etc...I`ve made a mental note to pick up a bottle for myself on my next check, which hopefully will be tomorrow. 

I`m not turning my back (entirely) on Tabasco, I`ll still use their hot sauce, but I`m not going to buy their newly developing Sriracha product.Nevertheless, I`ll put my minuscule money on David Tran and Huy Fong Foods. 

His story of emigrating from Vietnam (after the terrible war there) to Los Angeles, then developing his charmed hot sauce through rigorous trial and error, until he had perfected it, is a classic one of persistence and a good example of American entrepreneurship (from scratch - rags to riches).

The American Dream is still alive in this rare example; success is a function of ABSOLUTE ORIGINALITY. On the other hand, stealing is totally UnAmerican!