By Spencer Ackerman
Your soul years for authenticity. Your palette years for sweet-hot chili paste. And your newspaper puts its arm on your shoulder and tells you, softly, that you must choose:
The lure of Asian authenticity is part of the appeal. Some American consumers believe sriracha (properly pronounced SIR-rotch-ah) to be a Thai sauce. Others think it is Vietnamese. The truth is that sriracha, as manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, may be best understood as an American sauce, a polyglot purée with roots in different places and peoples.
It’s like Catharsis sang: in this world there’s nothing pure. Why should you want purity, anyway? Smear that sriracha on whatever you like. Enjoy its flavor, not what you think of as its provenance.