Sriracha hot sauce has gone from a cult favourite to a refrigerator staple.
Inventor David Tran started selling his version of Thailand’s spicy, red jalapeño Si Racha out of the back of his van three decades ago.
In 2012, long-time Sriracha fan and Illinois-based independent filmmaker Dan Hammond set out to create a 30-minute documentary about the hot sauce, covering everything from how it’s made to the folks who love it.
“I’ve been eating it for nine or 10 years now,” Hammond told Business Insider. “It’s just a really good sauce. There aren’t a lot of people I’ve talked to who don’t like it.”
Hammond’s film is still in production, but he has just unveiled his Kickstarter campaign, which has surpassed the $5,000 Hammond was hoping for. At the time of this post, the Sriracha movie has over $7,000 pledged with over 300 backers, and 30 days left to go on Kickstarter.
Those who invest the minimum of $5 will receive digital copies of the movie and have their name mentioned in the credits.
Hammond gave us some stills for a sneak peek at his project.
This is David Tran, the founder of Huy Fong Foods and the man behind cult-favourite condiment Sriracha. He first started selling Sriracha out of the back of his van in Los Angeles in the early 1980s.
For the last 25 years, Craig Underwood has been the sole supplier of the red jalapeños that go into Sriracha. The sauce company and the farm have grown together over the years.
This is one of Underwood's massive fields in Piru, California, where Sriracha jalapeños are grown. Every time Tran expands, his condiment company, Underwood has to buy more land, according to Hammond.
An estimated 100 million pounds of red jalapeño peppers are required each year to make Sriracha. Hammond will revisit the farm when the peppers are harvested.
Here's a close up of the young jalapeño plants. The farm is only an hour away from the factory where they peppers will be processed.
Huy Fong Food's has built a new Irwindale, California factory, where hundreds of thousands of blue barrels store ground-up jalapeños that are almost ready for bottling.
Until the new factory in Irwindale is fully operational this fall, Huy Fong Foods still bottles Sriracha in Rosemead, California.
The bottles are then distributed from the Rosemead factory to grocery stores and restaurants around the U.S. The sauce is also sold in Europe and Canada.
For the film, Hammond interviewed some of Sriracha's biggest fans, like the author of The Sriracha Cookbook, Randy Clemens (right), and a number of other chefs who are obsessed with using it as an ingredient.
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