Thursday, May 16, 2024

Sriracha Hot Sauce Shortage Possible

From USAToday, May 3/9:

A sauceless summer? Huy Fong pepper supplier problem stalls Sriracha production

Huy Fong Foods, maker of the sriracha sauce that comes in rooster-adorned, green-capped bottles, says it has halted production until after Labor Day, sparking fears of another shortage.

The California company blamed the popular condiment's production problems on the red jalapeño chile peppers that deliver the hot sauce's tangy sweet heat. They aren't red enough, according to Huy Fong Foods.

“After reevaluating our supply of chili, we have determined that it is too green to proceed with production as it is affecting the color of the product,” it told wholesale buyers in a letter this week obtained by USA TODAY. Huy Fong Foods does not sell directly to consumers.

“We regret to inform you that we have decided to halt production until after Labor Day, when our next chili season starts,” the letter said.

It could be a bland summer. Earlier shortages of red jalapeños made it nearly impossible to find Huy Fong Food's Sriracha sauce. The company's chili garlic sauce and Sambal Oelek are also affected.

“Unfortunately, all orders that have been scheduled beginning on May 6, 2024, will be canceled and the status changed to pending,” Huy Fong Foods said.

When asked about the production issues, Huy Fong Foods told USA TODAY via email: "At this time, we have no comment."

Will there be a Huy Fong Foods Sriracha shortage?
Fellow Sriracha makers are flush with red jalapeños and have not reported any chile pepper production issues, according to Stephanie Walker, professor and extension vegetable specialist at New Mexico State University.

She speculates Huy Fong Foods, which has been sourcing its chile peppers in Mexico, has not yet established solid relationships with dependable jalapeño growers. 

“I’ve been hearing third hand that they have tried to enlist new growers so they would have a reliable stream of jalapeños and it sounds like they haven't been entirely successful yet,” said Walker, who is co-director of her university’s Chile Pepper Institute. ...


I should inquire about becoming a Fellow of the Institute, visit the lab, talk Scoville units in the lounge. Although not peer reviewed we do have such published writings as the introduction to 2015's "Trifecta, We Have a Hot Sauce Sommelier To Go Along With The Mustard Sommelier and the Water Sommelier":

Yes, ma'am, the Satan's Saliva small barrel Special Reserve sauce is made from Scotch Bonnet peppers grown exclusively on a tiny island off the coast of Antigua, a larger island.

The peppers are picked at the peak of their short lives to ensure the characteristic citrus and battery acid top notes contrast with the charred peat and road tar bottom to create a complex tease, flamboyant enough to be called the scamp of the vineyard pepper pot but finishing as cigar box and C4.

In case of overdose the usual cold milk treatment is insufficient and one should go deeper into the butterfat realm, whipping cream at minimum, preferably a hunk of cream cheese to gnaw on as you search for the nearest burn unit.

Perfect when paired with artisanal small batch lard or any of the kicky tallows now making the scene....

Here's a list of some of the hotter peppers from 2020 should your Sriracha purveyor fail you.