Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sriracha, judge orders partial shutdown

Judge Robert O'Brien, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered Sriracha hot sauce plant in Irwindale partially closed due to complaints from residents about harsh odors

The judge did not halt operations altogether and did not order any specific action actually except to stop stinking up the place.

There is no real proof but it sure is annoying.

It's so annoying that the city is likely to prevail in declaring the odor a public nuisance.

Everybody went, "Yay!"
Irwindale officials applauded the judge's decision. 
"We believe it's a strong ruling that acknowledges and is reflective of the concerns that the community has raised about the health impacts of the odor," said City Atty. Fred Galante.
Nobody really knows just yet what this means for the supply of Sriracha sauce. It's a seasonal thing. The harvest is already done but the bottling continues all year.

They can keep going with their production so long as they don't be so offensive or show that they are mitigating. There is confusion. Confusion that can lead to market shortages. Market shortages that can lead to Sriracha sauce deprivation separation anxiety.

I think I can help.

I have a bottle of that sauce. The ingredients are simple. But before that, I want to mention, this odor-control seems a new nudge thing. Possibly not, some odors really are offensive.

<anecdote alert>In Denver an ordinance was passed limiting pot odors. And now cigarette odors are included along with that. Building management makes smoking policies without regard to ordinance or law. In my own building a survey was passed around and a policy put up.

Mentioning this among a group of people younger than myself and wondering aloud how my identity group became such scolds, they suddenly all became more talkative at once. "Well it is a way of clamping down on the public 420 festivals I suppose," and, "it does smell like skunk when a whole warehouse of plants matures and the air inside is circulated out into the neighborhood. It does smell like a skunk." Together they brainstormed spontaneously, thought up things that I did not think of, they reversed it, took pride in such industry overpowering neighborhoods with odor, "How about Purina Dog Chow? Is that awesome or what?" Everybody laughed because it is awesome. Driving by on I-70, blam, aw, that smells like dog food! "We lived near a pig farm and you can smell that shit miles away. We just accepted it." "And when the stock show and rodeo come to the colosseum you can smell it all the way downtown." "Ha ha ha Really? I didn't think of that. And people love it!" 

That group was for neighborhood odors.</anecdote alert>

<anecdote alert>They would be against odors if they had to walk past the noodle factory we all had to walk past to go to school at Tachikawa. That factory exhausted noodle factory air directly onto the narrow sidewalk, we all had hold our breath as we walked past the fan blowing air like a jet engine of stink right on you. Back and forth. They work very long and very hard at that noodle factory.</anecdote alert>

Okay. If you run out of Sriracha sauce, here is how you can compensate until they get out of their odor-hostile California neighborhood, or mitigate and get back up and running full capacity. 

* dry red Thai chiles in a package
* sugar
* salt
* garlic
* vinegar

That's it.

What to do: Buy a big bag of Thai chilies. They are remarkably inexpensive in Asian markets. In a regular market then any dry small thin red chile will work as well, there is nothing particularly spectacular about Thai chiles. Sriracha says their chiles are sun-dried but so what, they are not like tomatoes that way. 

Do you see what is going on here? It is a typical Thai sweet/sour/hot sauce, with an emphasis on hot. The one element exaggerated beyond all others. All flavors subordinate to the chiles you have.

Also typical to Thai is the duo garlic/ginger, and Sriracha uses only garlic. That is odd. That means you can improve your Sriracha in a typical way by including ginger. 

They probably use powder garlic for industrial convenience. You can use fresh. Fresh garlic and fresh ginger will automatically improve your version of Sriracha. 

The bag of chile is dumped into a cast-iron pan and heated throughout on hot turned constantly, not burning, but activating the oils within each individual pod. Doused with water they swell. Just enough to process to glorious red sludge. Pressed through a strainer or else there will be a lot of gunk from the thin skins. 

Strained mixture returned to heat, sugar added, heated basically to dissolve. 

Add salt, garlic, ginger, I'd consider tamarind paste if you care for that, it is the Asian element in Worcestershire sauce, you know from the British raj, it is very good in things like this. I'd also consider onions or onion juice processed in there too. 

Vinegar in increments, always guessing if you need more sugar. It is a matter of balancing the sugar and vinegar added to the chile pods.

Similar to this red chile sauce except the chile will be much smaller, and more emphasis on sweet and sour.


chickelit said...

Just what is the "offensive" odor?



bagoh20 said...

It's just a technology issue. Install some fume collecting and scrubbing equipment and everybody is happy.

Alternatively, scent the fumes with ode de Ass, then they won't know who to blame.

chickelit said...

I grew up near Madison, WI.
Oscar Mayer, Inc. used to slaughter, process, and package meat there in the 60's and 70s. It was good paying work. An uncle worked there. The offal odors used to drive Madisonians crazy back then and a remedy was sought. A first attempt was to mask odor rather than eliminate it. "Mask" implies putting something over something. That's what the company did. I recall seeing little pipes 3-4 ft. tall strategically placed along Packers Ave, each one emitting little puffs of pink-colored vapor which seemed...sorta worse (could Althouse have a field day with that today or what?).

To cut to the chase...Oscar's finally solved the problem by closing down the slaughterhouse and moving it far away from uppity liberals.

Unknown said...

There no surety about any technology. Every equipment can get problem. We should always ready to tackle these problem.

Komatsu Parts

AllenS said...

Would it be too much to ask those people to just eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

Leland said...

Terlingua, TX awaits new business.

Michael Haz said...

In another article about Sriracha it was noted that the sole owner go the company is a Vietnamese immigrant who spent everything he had to build this new plant in an industrial park.

If he is forced to shut down or add esspensive air scrubbers, the business will probably be sold to a big conglomerate that will move production elsewhere. Bye bye jobs.

They cook Sriracha only about three months a year. I really don't see a problem, except for whiney neighbors who want the air to smell of unicorns and cotton candy.

Michael Haz said...

The combination of Sriracha, cilantro, crushed peanuts and lime juice makes everything you eat taste like Thai food. Mostly.

The Dude said...

Bruce Hammerson said...

"There no surety about any technology. Every equipment can get problem. We should always ready to tackle these problem.

Komatsu Parts"

Does Sriracha improve the flavor of spam?

Paddy O said...

Irwindale? It's one of the more corrupt of towns. All industry. Very few actual residents. It's inbred politically. So this isn't about smell, at least not olfactory.

I live about 10 miles east of there, drove by there everyday on my old commute. Irwindale is made up of quarries for cement. It also has a huge Miller brewing plant, which has a smell that drifts for miles. If I remember right, the residential real estate is all owned by companies or politicians.

The whole town smells. Which makes it likely this isn't about hot sauce, but not enough sauce for the city leaders.

Paddy O said...


bagoh20 said...

Yea, Irwindale is not exactly a resort town, but a company should take measures to mitigate stuff like this. It wouldn't cost that much to accomplish what's needed until the government tells them exactly how they have to do it, and who they need to pay.

You just exhaust off the fumes and bubble them through a high pH bath, then bottle and sell the water as paint remover or anal bleach.

ampersand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Thanks for the recipe, Chip.

Revenant said...

Just what is the "offensive" odor?

The scent of the city not getting its kickbacks.

Unknown said...

I'm confused. I would think Shakira sauce would smell awesome.

Unknown said...

want to make your house smell awesome? Cook with fresh ginger.

(perhaps they need to add ginger to the recipe)

Anonymous said...

Wow what a lovely idea! I will definately have a go at making my own home fragrance soon!energy efficient construction