Wednesday, July 29, 2020

sriracha comin' atcha

Here's a follow-up to the chilli sauce post of a few years ago and this more specific sriracha taste comparison one from a year or so later. As an adjunct to my relentless bulk purchasing of noodles I usually order a couple of other products as well, sometimes basic essentials like kimchi, for which I have developed a bit of a habit, but sometimes more outlandish stuff like the grass jelly drink from 2014 which still haunts my nightmares. A while back I ordered a couple of bottles of sriracha of a couple of brands I hadn't tried before, and I note that I have not yet opined on their merits in this forum. Furthermore, as I was running low on my regular go-to sriracha (Flying Goose brand) I instructed my wife to keep an eye out for it when she went to Sainsbury's last weekend. She returned with two bottles with a red cap/nozzle instead of the normal green, which turns out to be the extra-hot variety, and so since I now had multiple untested srirachas (srirachae? srirachata?) I decided a comparison might be in order.

Left to right in the picture below are: my regular (and, as you can see, nearly empty) green-capped Flying Goose sriracha, the newly-purchased red-capped turbo nutter Flying Goose sriracha, and a larger bottle of Chef's Choice sriracha purchased from Wing Yip with a previous noodle order some time back. A blob from each bottle is presented on the chopping board in front of them.

What I conclude from my experience here with the Chef's Choice sriracha in particular, and also from its hitherto-unblogged predecessor, the excellently-named Healthy Boy brand, is that there are at least two schools of thought when it comes to things you might decide to label "sriracha" - one is the orthodox darkish red chilli sauce of the type represented by the Flying Goose and Cock brands, as well as various other branded versions, and the other is a lighter-coloured, generally slightly milder and sweeter product of the sort represented by the Chef's Choice and Healthy Boy brands which I would describe as more a sort of hotter version of the sweet chilli sauce widely sold in supermarkets. Nothing at all wrong with it, but I wouldn't describe it as "sriracha", exactly. 

Anyway, as you can see, the red-capped version of the Flying Goose brand (one of a bewildering variety of variants available) is slightly darker than the regular version, as befits something which presumably has a higher concentration of chillies in it. I'm pleased to report that while being appreciably hotter than the green-capped variety it is not absurdly, inedibly hot and is in fact very good, maybe even better than the regular variety (caveat: I am extremely fond of spicy food and have quite a high tolerance for Scoville units).

Moving on, here are a couple of slightly different bottles: this is the more Central/South American variety of chilli sauce, specifically a smoky variety made from chipotle chilles. I encountered the Asda version pictured on a camping trip and was quite impressed: it's not particularly hot, but it is very tasty and a thoroughly excellent accompaniment to a sausage sandwich, for instance. I don't shop in Asda very often - not through snobbery or anything, just geographical convenience - so when I was in Tesco a while back I picked up a bottle of Wahaca-branded sauce of a similar description. I was quite impressed with the restaurant food when I visited their Cardiff branch a couple of years ago, but I have to say this isn't as tangy as the Asda version, so I'd recommend that one instead. As you can see I've gone to the trouble of making a trip to Asda to stock up.

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