- CHILIRED JALAPEÑOS: The heat in these chilis clock is ~5k Scoville units (~300 parts/M of mouth-burning capsaicinoids). These molecules bind to a receptor, TRPV1, that shows up on the ends of nerves that lead to the trigeminal nerve, which conveys touch, temperature, and pain.
- GARLIC: The sulfurbased molecules that give garlic its stink activate another trigeminal receptor, TRPA1.
- SUGAR: To taste sweet, a receptor grabs an L-shaped structure common to sugar and artificial sweeteners. When any of those nestle into the groove, they start a cascade of messages that make the brain say, “Sweet!”
- SALT: Detected by ion channels on cells in the taste buds, positively charged sodium ions (the Na in NaCl) sneak through, changing the cell's voltage and triggering a ping to the brain. Salty taste may also depend in part on capsaicin-catching TRPV1.
- DISTILLED VINEGAR: A channel receptor telegraphs the sour taste of acetic acid. Free protons from the vinegar activate the receptor, starting a cascade of signals that transmits the tangy note in sriracha.
- XANTHAN GUM: Makes sriracha thicker than similar sauces. But, xanthan gum also causes sriracha to sticks to mechanoreceptors on the tongue, sending data about creamy mouthfeel down to the trigeminal nerve—a pleasant change from the sting of capsaicin and garlic.
Sriracha has been made in Irwindale, California, since 1980. Here's a tour of the factory:
This place was awesome and all the employees were so cool. The coolest thing I heard was that the boss was awesome. These people are getting bonuses for Christmas. He buys them food. He has the factory catered. He takes everybody out to dinner. Everybody loved working there. The smell outside when they were dumping the Chili's in the truck was pretty intense. I live locally so I see the semi trucks on the 210 freeway. Following the trucks is a pretty cool experience. But once you are inside the factory there was no smell. All of the sauce was contained in mixers and barrels. All of the barrels were made at the factory there. This shows the blow-mold bottle maker. Also there are 17 bottling stations. Today there was only one open for demonstration. All of the sauces bottled sit for one month to make sure that it's perfect.
Here's the story behind the story:
If Mr. Tran was smart (and he is, but this is different) he'd relocate to Texas and let those who are complaining lose the employment and tax base his factory contributes to the GDP of Irwindale as well as the State of California. Then, to sweeten the deal, he'd write off the factory and and the cost of relocation, letting the taxpayers pick up the bill. Then, listen to the stormy petrils cry "that's not fair."
So much for "sustainability," as in a "sustainable economy."
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Wired.com article, click on the following link: