Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dear Huy Fong Foods

Please understand that I take a great risk writing to you about your beloved Rooster Sauce.  The Oatmeal is a crimelord and has put forth an edict that no other blogger can ever associate themselves with your product.  I cannot stay silent, though.

There was a time, not long ago, that we as Americans said that we would not give in to the demands of terrorists.  Surely, if the people living around your factory are complaining of the fumes from the pepper processing that you do to make the delicious Sriracha sauce, then your workers, who would be much closer to the process would be affected.  Seeing as the local hospitals are not choked with blinded, gagging Huy Fong workers, I think there is something else at play here.

There also must be a better option than closing down production, even partially.  There are no factories that are far enough from residential areas that you can move to?  Your sauce is one of the most popular condiments behind ketchup and mustard, and I have never seen a knockoff product.  There is no possible way your company is not raking it in.  Maybe a story will help you understand what you mean to me, and to everyone.

The year was 2008. A young, naive Greg with much more hair on his head but less fire in his belly went to a Vietnamese restaurant with his friends James and Lisa.  Back then, Greg was scared of hot food.  His put sweet Thai chili sauce on everything, because it was just spicy enough to convince him that he wasn't a coward.  At this restaurant, James encouraged Greg to try a dish called BiBimBap.  He was handed a sizzling bowl of rice, beef and egg, and also a ketchup bottle filled with orange fury.  One squirt was all he allowed himself, but upon tasting the beauty, he unloaded on the dish.  It was not too hot, but much more than he was typically comfortable with, and so very tasty.  Greg tried his best to find this sauce at the store later, and instead fond a red bottle with a rooster on it.

That night, Greg added the sauce to a pasta dish he had cooked.  An hour later, his housemate The Todd-Faced Killah came home to find Greg laying on the couch, sweating profusely.  Unsubstantiated rumors also claim that Greg was also speaking flawless Sumerian, and that he had translated the Voynich Manuscript on the wall with his own blood.  All reports state that the Sriracha fever hit a head, and at that point, the old weak Greg burned to the ashes that spawned me.

If that story isn't enough for you to keep production going, then how about I go with threats.  I know you bow to those.  Your sauce, while good on everything, is no longer hot enough to burn away that anger in my belly.  I've started making my own sauce, and now you leave me no choice but to publish the recipe for all.  If you go down, we shall self sustain.

Greg's Phoenix Sauce
prep time: 4 months     Cook time: 7 hours

4-5 cloves of garlic
2 pounds of peppers so hot that Minka Kelly is jealous of them
1/4 cup of malt vinegar
1 boom box
A copy of a mix tape that you made for a boy or girl you were crushing on in high school
1 blender or food processor
A container strong enough to withstand the hoary fires of the underworld

1)  Grow a damn garden.  It's not hard, it's rewarding as hell, and everything tastes better.  Plant garlic, and plant lots of different kinds of peppers.  I grow habaneros, jalopenos, anchos, Biker Billy's habaneros, fish peppers, sweet italians, bells, chiles, cherries, and cayenne. 

2) Once those are all grown and ready, get out the boom box and throw that old mix tape on.  Yeah, that's bringing back some memories.  Probably not alot of good ones either.  Just sit there, and let them wash over you.  Once you've heard the tape, both side A and B in full, you're ready to start.  Restart side A, and get out a cutting board.

3) Cut the stems off of the peppers, but leave the seeds.  That's where babies come from.  Throw the peppers in the blender.  I use a Vitamix.

4)Peel the garlic clove, and add it to the blender.

5) Right about now, the mix tape is probably hitting the song "Glycerine" by Bush.  How do I know?  Everyone put that on a mix for someone they liked.  Soak in that awkward teenage angst by listening to both sides of the mix tape three more times. 

6) Pour the vinegar over the peppers and garlic.

7) Blend it all up until that sauce is silky smooth.

8) Tear up a little when the Goo Goo Dolls come on the mixtape.  Yes, you put them on there, and you have to live with that.  This will make you stronger in the end.  Remember when that song played in the eighth grade Valentine's dance, and none of the girls would dance with you because you were so very awkward?  Oh, you didn't remember that?  Now you do.  Let your tears season the sauce.

9) Take the blended sauce and put it in a pot.  Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to medium for 5 minutes.  Take off the stove and let it cool.

10) Some recipes tell you to let the sauce ferment for a week in a glass jar.  I am not patient enough for that.  I need fire and I need it now.  Pour the sauce into an easy squirt bottle while the Wallflowers sing "One Headlight".  The tears are weakness that you don't need in you anymore.  You must get rid of them so you are strong enough for the sauce.

11)  Put the sauce in the fridge to thicken.

12) Consume and be joyful.  It is fresher than you could ever hope, and tastier than you can ever dream.  

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