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This really belongs on CRAFT, in fact, in was on CRAFT, posted by the inimitable Brookelynn Morris, but also being addicted to this stuff (and knowing many geeks who also have the habit), I couldn’t resist posting it here. A friend of mine, a real ethnic food connoisseur, turned me on to Sriracha hot sauce decades ago. He spoke about it in such rhapsodic tones, I just had to try some. Endless bottles of it have since rotated through my cupboard ever since. They must put crack in it or something, because soon, you’re putting it on everything, for an instant party in your mouth, a very spicey party in your mouth.

Brookelynn writes:

One of my flickr contacts, christ(ine), posted this perfectly rendered sriracha embroidery. This is the only hot sauce in my house, and its sweetspicy is addictive. In fact, it has an almost cult-like following. I’m not surprised one bit that she felt compelled to stitch this up, but I am shocked at how well she created the complicated characters. and details. Art imitates life, and in this case, craft imitates food.

Sriracha Embroidery

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. jiggy says:

    Sriracha is definitely the only asian style hot sauce you need in your kitchen. But one also needs Crystal Louisiana hot sauce.

  2. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Yup. Got some of that too. I also like to keep some of the thicker Thai chili-garlic paste on-hand.

    And truth be told (addict confession time), at any given time, I’ve got all manner of hot sauces and heat in various other forms (flakes, powders, etc). One of my other faves is Grace Jamaican Jerk Seasoning — Hot. It’s as hot as SIN.

    One of my all-time fave food memories was making grilled jerk chicken with this, and my fellow Dorkbot co-Overlord Alberto Gaitan and I blasting our brains out on this with ice-cold Belgian beers. We were both sort of leaning over our plates, moaning and groaning with the kind of masochistic joy that only fellow hot food addicts can understand.

    1. CircuitGizmo says:

      Your experience reminds me of the experience I have with my “biohazard chili” (green chili). I’ve been curled up in a ball sweating bullets hoping to uncurl long enough to have another bowl of green chili…

      I _know_ something is wrong with me.

      1. Gareth Branwyn says:

        Years ago (so the details are foggy), I remember reading an essay by an ethnopharmacologist (yes, there are such things) on the use of chilies in Central/So American cultures. He’s come to some town in Central America to witness a pepper eating contest (where the winner ended up eating something like 114 off-the-hook-hot chilies). He’s walking down a street and sees a small child, like seven or eight, with a bowl of peppers, sitting on a porch. The kid takes a bite of one, smiles, and says, in Spanish, “It bites.”

  3. Kurt Roedeger says:

    I will have to keep an eye out for this in the ethnic aisle at the grocery store. I’m always on the lookout to try something new. Especially till summer rolls around and I can start growing my own again (the bunnies ate all my pepper plants last year; the local hawks and cats must have had some spicy meals).

    People who don’t enjoy the heat just can’t wrap their head around that masochistic joy you mention Gareth. Something about the endorphins rushing through your body when you feel the heat sliding down your throat.

  4. Gareth Branwyn says:

    BTW: Here’s a tip I learned from a friend about getting hot food in ethnic restaurants:

    If you’re a hot food junkie like me, you scan the menus for those little hot pepper icons and start with the largest number and see if any of those dishes appeal to you.

    But even if you order a, say 4-chili meal, oftentimes, it’s still barely hot. It’s the restaurant’s perception of what an American palate thinks of as hot.

    So, when you order, say: “I want it hot. Not American hot, I want it [enter name of cuisine you're eating] hot.” And then I usually add: “Seriously. Thai hot” (or whatever). This usually works.

    Another tip he shared is to look for a restaurant that’s filled with people of that ethnicity. But look out. When you do, and you ask for “Thai hot,” boy are you going to get Thai hot.

    1. CircuitGizmo says:

      I frequent a restaurant that has a 1-pepper, 2-pepper, 3-pepper chart that you can point to if you want added heat in your meal. But even the 3-pepper dish is a bit under-whelming.

      A friend and I finally convinced the cook that hot means HOT. Now there is a level of hotness that can be ordered that suits the pepper-heads. You ignore the pepper charts and ask for “Joe Hot” and you get a dish that melts your mind.

      Now I have a craving.

  5. Oceaneer99 says:

    In an unbelievable coincidence, I picked up a bottle of Sriracha this morning (along with a bag of saki-ika, shredded dried squid, which I grew to love in Japan years ago). My son grew fond of Sriracha during our Pho outings, and now puts it in most soups at dinner.

    Other household favorites include Crystal Louisiana, Indonesian sambal oelek, canned Mexican chipotle salsa (which we put in a container and freeze, just scraping off a bit when we need some), Costa Rican Iguana Gold golden habanero sauce, and Guatemalan Maya-Ik salsa (not that hot, but tasty). As to curries, my favorite remains Thai Tom’s (Seattle U-District) Thai green curry on eggplant.

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