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Irwindale, California

Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Factory

The Vietnamese refugee behind every bottle of rooster sauce. 

For historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman, American cuisine can be defined by eight flavors. The oldest is black pepper, the spice of choice for Martha Washington, and the most recent addition to our culinary repertoire is sriracha, a favorite of Martha Stewart.

The iconic hot sauce’s trajectory has taken it from Vietnamese staple to potato chip flavoring. Today the most well known sriracha brand is from Huy Fong Foods, and every single bottle of Huy Fong Sriracha is made in one factory, in Irwindale, California.

In this episode of Gastropod, historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman describes how jalapeños go from farm to sauce in just three hours.

Know Before You Go

You can visit the Huy Fong factory to see the entire process—the best time to tour is pepper harvest season, from about mid-September to late October. Tours are free, but you do have to call to book in advance.