Sriracha: Condiment or Hot Sauce? Discuss.

Nov 19, 2012 12:31 pm

Is sriracha a hot sauce? Let's dig a little deeper.

Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sylvar/">sylvar</a> on Flickr
Photo: sylvar on Flickr
Is sriracha a condiment or a hot sauce? This photo answers no questions.
 

Welcome to this installation of What To Eat For Lunch: Eternal Questions edition. Nope, not what happens after you die. What to call sriracha while you're still living. I took a quick poll of colleagues, woke Gchat friends out of their idleness, texted those I knew to be in the throes of morning boredom and discovered with many answers to the question: "Is sriracha a condiment or hot sauce?" Information has been recorded, and shall be regurgitated in the manner it was received.

In defense of condiment:
Caleb in Charlottesville, VA says more obvious sweetness, consistency and quantity used make him think condiment over hot sauce. "I mix it 50/50 with sweet hot mustard, that makes my favorite marinade and topping." Here's a better quote:

me:  You, me and one other person says condiment, everyone else says hot sauce. they're crazy.
Caleb:  Idiots.
me:  Seriously.

Aliza from Yorktown, NY agrees, citing that hot sauces are usually watery and she usually dips stuff in sriracha, as one might do with a condiment. "I think it's the viscosity," she says, "also, I feel like I mix it into things the way I would mix in mustard, and not hot sauce." Hmm...mustard, eh? These are people I trust. 

In defense of hot sauce:
Kaitlyn from Park Slope says sriracha is a hot sauce all the way. "I still contend that hot sauce is just a subcategory of condiment, though. But I can't get into a conversation about categorical evaluations right now."

Philip from Boston provided a fairly ironclad defense using logic (which, Philip, is not always superior): "It's hot. It's a sauce. If it is hot and a sauce, it is used primarily to augment the heat of a dish and is therefore a hot sauce over a condiment." 

Great, thanks, man (all FR staffers, might I add):
Editorial intern George Embiricos: "Just in general when you first think of it, what is it? Well, it's HOT. If you go to a restaurant and ask for hot sauce, they'll bring you sriracha a good amount of the time. On second thought, I'll say condiment. Not many hot sauces have had entire cookbooks devoted to them, I guess."

Contributing editor Matt Rodbard: "Sriracha is overused as a condiment, period."

Beer writer Jonathan Katz: "Is hot sauce not a condiment? It's funny you ask that, I brought my bottle of sriracha to the office today to put on my fish cakes. Fish cakes don't really go with sriracha but sriracha goes with everything."

Me: "...therefore?"
Jon: "Sriracha is a gastronomical deity?"
Me: "Thank you for your time, sir." 

Work with me, guys! Tomorrow, let's explore this sriracha and mustard thing. I'm already having crazy ideas. Oh and the answer is condiment. Sriracha is a condiment. But feel free to hit our Facebook page and tell me otherwise, I can argue about this all day. 

More hot sauce for lunch on Food Republic:

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