We Can All Stop Stocking Up on Sriracha Sauce Now

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 31 2013 2:53 PM

We Can All Stop Stocking Up on Sriracha Sauce Now

186383980
Bottles of Huy Fong brand Sriracha chili sauce are seen for sale at a grocery store in Los Angeles, California, October 30, 2013

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Culinary crisis averted (for now), via the Los Angeles Times:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Production of Sriracha can continue at an Irwindale factory, at least for now, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.  Judge Robert H. O'Brien denied the city of Irwindale's request for a temporary restraining order and set a hearing for Nov. 22 to determine whether the hot-sauce factory should be shut down while it fixes alleged odor problems. ... The city sued Huy Fong Foods on Monday, claiming the spicy scent of ground peppers is a public nuisance in violation of the municipal code. The city acted after some nearby residents complained of burning eyes and throats.
Advertisement

The city had asked for a temporary restraining order that would have forced the factory to shut down immediately while the legal fight sorted itself out. David Tran, chief executive and founder of hot sauce-maker Huy Fong Foods, warned that doing so would have driven Sriracha prices drastically higher. As part of his defense, Tran also offered up what has to be the second-best California court-related rhyming couplet of all time: "If it doesn't smell, we can't sell."

The ruling is only a temporary victory for the company, but a major one. There's reportedly only a little more than a week left in the chile harvest and process period, so the judge's decision means that the company will be able to finish processing its special hybrid jalapeño peppers they need for next year's hot-sauce supply. (The factory technically makes three varieties of the sauce—Chili Garlic, Sambal Oelek, and Sriracha Chili—although it's the last one, known as the "rooster" sauce and dubbed a "polyglot purée" by the New York Times, that has found a place in the current American culinary consciousness.)

The November hearing will focus on the city's request for a permanent injunction which, if granted, would stay in place until the company can curb the smell to the city and court's satisfaction. For more on the backstory on the fight, as well as some details about the sauce's production process, check out this article in the Los Angeles Times from earlier this week.

**Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 12:37 PM The Fed Will Probably Stop Injecting Huge Sums of Money Into the Economy This Month
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 20 2014 1:43 PM Chouara: A Striking 11th-Century Tannery in Morocco
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 1:26 PM This $248 Denim Jumpsuit Is the Latest Example of a Horrible Fashion Tradition
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 1:51 PM Will Amazon Lead Us to the Golden Age of Books? A Future Tense Event.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 10:23 AM Where I Was Wrong About the Royals I underestimated the value of building a team that’s just barely better than mediocre.