Five foods and drinks that should never have Sriracha added to them

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America loves Sriracha. The screaming-red, medium-spicy Asian condiment -- made with chiles, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt -- is named for the Thai city of Si Racha, an mass-produced by Huy Fong Foods in clear plastic squeeze bottles with green caps and and signature rooster pictures , which inspired its nickname of "cock sauce" (or "rooster sauce" if there are little kids around). Cock sauce went from being a fairly obscure Asian condiment to a required accessory at almost any American meal, partly because of its engaging garlicky flavor and chile warmth, partly because of its still-small price tag. Sriracha is divine on eggs, pizza, meat and chicken, tofu and vegetables and in soups; a few squirts in a carton of sour cream makes a badass dip for potato chips. But despite Sriracha's adaptability, there are a few food and drink tems it definitely does not help.

Here are the top five edibles that should never have Sriracha added.

See also:
- The new Genghis Khan salad with Sriracha dressing at Mad Greens is killer
- Photos: Row 14 chef Jensen Cummings demonstrates how to make sriracha
- Denver gets a Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop

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5. Sodas
Although I used to buy Jones Sodas whenever the company introduced yet another holiday pack of flavor abominations, there were some undeniably terrible tastes, even for the adventurous culinary connoisseur. Past offerings included sodas flavored like Brussels sprouts, ham, mashed potatoes (with butter), turkey (with gravy), green bean casserole, fruitcake, sweet potatoes, peas, dinner roll, broccoli and the one that finally made me swear off this swill altogether: smoked salmon pate soda. Given this track record, Jones will no doubt jump on the Sriracha band wagon and make a carbonated beverage with the popular sauce -- and I dread that day, because the food nerd in me will want to taste it, and the human being with digestive preservation instincts will not. The chile itself may not be that bad, but I have no desire to swig a bottle of vinegar.

Then again, while many people have taken a sip or two of a weird Jones soda, have you ever seen anyone actually finish off a bottle?

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Yes--these are real!
4. Mexican food
Part of Sriracha's appeal is that is so flexible, lending itself not just to all kinds of Asian food, but also Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, European, American, blah blah blah. But for some reason only the food gods know (Alton Brown might be the messiah, by the way), Sriracha just does not go well with a lot of Mexican foods, including but not limited to tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chiles relleno, tortas, barbacoa and carnitas -- and it clashes like crazy with mole. My theory on this is that many Mexican dishes have their own native chile peppers to season and give them heat, and Sriracha's Thai influence can actually be a distraction because it doesn't have the right balance of salty, hot, sweet and garlicky to improve the flavor of Mexican dishes.

Don't believe me? Try squirting a little cock sauce into your next bowl of posole.

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3. Fresh berries

I always look forward to that first crop of ripe berries to add to salads. In anticipation of the early summer crop, earlier this year I fooled around in the kitchen and came up with a really good tangy, savory, spicy salad dressing with a liberal amount of cock sauce added to it, along with almond oil, a little rice wine vinegar, pink peppercorns and a touch of hibiscus for a floral note. The dressing was fantastic, right up to the point that I bit into a slice of fresh strawberry. The Sriracha-heavy dressing made the berry taste foul -- almost rotten -- and after a few more bites I picked the berries out, washed them and ate them separately.

Note to self and others: Just as you do a strand-test when you are about to dye your hair, make sure that the main salad ingredient does not clash with the dressing.



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21 comments
Felicia McBain
Felicia McBain

Ian, you should use Google to confirm your idea of what "cock sauce" is before you try to argue, or else you just look like a fucking dumbass. And jesus, I think you fit more complaints into that one comment than the standard amount that Jenn puts in her articles.

Jennifer Wohletz
Jennifer Wohletz

That Jenn Wohletz should be dragged out into the street and kicked repeatedly. And she should never do concert listings, because she will totes screw those up.

Ian Errl
Ian Errl

I saw the headline of this article and thought, "ok, this is the type of article Westword can handle." Then I started reading and realized you really can't do anything right, even a puff piece such as this. "Cock sauce" is not slang for Sri Racha, it's slang for cocktail sauce, as any foodie or food server will tell you. Jones soda!?!, Fresh berries!?!, Lube!??? How about things that make sense, such as a Bloody Mary, master cleanse, or ice cream? Did you even think of talking to the large group of people who are obsessed with it, and what their thoughts are? Thank god you provide concert listings, stick to that.

Ian Arnold
Ian Arnold

Probably wouldn't go too great on a bowl of Cap'n Crunch...

damian.burford
damian.burford

While drinking a bottle of wine, I got the urge to add sriracha to a glass of wine. Needless to say, it was unnecessary, but fun experiment. It tasted like Sriracha wine, and only added to the heartburn I get from the delicious, delicious red wine i love so much. So yeah, I'm glad I did it, but never again.

Brandon Charles Haug
Brandon Charles Haug

I just had scallops with sriracha on dish.. Nice flavor but a bit overpowering.

Britta Deeds
Britta Deeds

I put it on my Mexican food. And in my fresh berry smoothies!

Al Suarez
Al Suarez

I can't think of one food or drink that should have that crap added to it. YUCK!

jenna-furrr
jenna-furrr topcommenter

@Ian ErrlThat Jenn Wohletz should be dragged out into the street and kicked repeatedly. And she should never do concert listings, because she will totes screw those up.

jenna-furrr
jenna-furrr topcommenter

I would however love to see a beef-flavored slushie. Props to anyone who gets the Doctor Who nod.

jenna-furrr
jenna-furrr topcommenter

@Blayne McMillan Agreed. : )

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