Ready For A Spicy New Sauce And Sandwich At McDonald’s? (Photos)


By Cooking Panda

McDonald’s has unveiled a sandwich with kale and Sriracha sauce. Wait, is it 2013? Nope, they’re just a few years late to the trend game.

And people are eating it up.

The chain’s Sriracha Mac Sauce, a creamy condiment combining McDonalds’ iconic Big Mac Sauce with spicy Sriracha, will be available to pimp out your sandwiches and sides for a limited time in July.

Catch a glimpse of the sauce below, where it is spread on the new Signature Sriracha sandwich with crispy onions, baby spinach and kale, tomato and white cheddar. Customers may enjoy the spicy spread on their choice of bun with a beef patty, buttermilk crispy chicken or “Artisan” grilled chicken, according to Eater.

And that’s not all. The sauce can be used for delectable dipping with foods like fries and McNuggets.

If you’re really feeling indulgent, you could pull an In-N-Out animal-style trick by pouring the Sriracha sauce over McDonalds’ new loaded bacon cheese fries. The spiciness of the sauce would cut through the creaminess of the cheese and the saltiness of the bacon for a sinful but scrumptious snack. 

Can’t imagine how the sauce might taste? Think about it this way. Big Mac Sauce is a blend of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, white wine vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika, as McDonalds’ executive chef explained in this video. It’s similar in flavor to a Thousand Island dressing, so picture that with a spicy Sriracha kick.

While the sauce and sandwich aren’t new — they debuted in select stores in 2016, according to Teen Vogue — this is the first time they’ll be available nationwide (and the first time you can order the special sauce on the side). 

Want to order the new foods without leaving your couch? If you live in Los Angeles, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, or Phoenix, you can, as Mickey D’s expanded its delivery service with UberEATS to more than 1,000 locations across the country.

Once you’ve loaded up on Sriracha Mac Sauce, cool your tongue off with the candy-rich Rolo McFlurry, finally back from a five-year hiatus, or this cold and creamy McDonald’s hack: the McFlurry ice cream sandwich.

Sources: Eater, Teen Vogue / Featured image credit: Steven Depolo/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: kale, mcdonald's, McNuggets, sandwich, sriracha, sriracha sauce
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We Need To Get Our Hands On Sriracha’s Latest Invention


By Cooking Panda

Sriracha’s maker, Huy Fong Foods, Inc., has come up with a new Sriracha Seasoning Stix product, and it’s already selling out before it has even hit the shelves. Are we really surprised by that, though?

According to the Sriracha Stix website, free samples are sold out, but you can still receive free and early-bird shipping if you supply your email address … and you’ll want to do that. There are four flavors: Classic Sriracha, Sriracha Butter Garlic, Sriracha Teriyaki and the mystery blend that hasn’t yet been named.

Here’s how it works — you select your blend, stick some stix into your cooking protein, and while it cooks, allow the stix to melt into the food. I guess it’s sort of like a dry rub, but probably so much better. The whole idea is that it cooks from the inside out. Ever feel like your chicken is only seasoned on the outside and the rest of it tastes bland? This is the solution.

Tasting Table reports that more than 60,000 people have signed up for the free offer, which explains why it’s already sold out. The Seasoning Stix idea itself isn’t exactly new, however. Sugarmade, Inc. is a company that started making these seasoning wonders back in 2014, but has since teamed up with Huy Fong Foods to make the Sriracha Stix a reality. Sugarmade claims that regular marinades typically only flavor about one-quarter of the way into the cooking protein of choice. This is part of that made Seasoning Stix so necessary in the first place.

The science behind the new spice-as-a-stick idea comes from the fact that meat is mostly water, and as the water cooks out of the meat, the spices go along with it. Basically, this means that the best time to season meat is when it’s in that stage of cooking where the water is evaporating. The protein absorbs the melting spices from the stick in the way that a sponge absorbs water. You’ll have to try it to believe it, and I suggest starting with the Sriracha line!

Sources: Sriracha Stix, Tasting Table, Sugarmade (2) / Photo Credit: Sugarmade/Facebook

Tags: Huy Fong Foods, Seasoning Stix, sriracha, Sugarmade
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Here’s How Peppers Turn Into Spicy Sriracha Sauce (Video)


By Cooking Panda

Ever wondered about the past life of your bottle of Sriracha? You know where it’s going (on your eggs, on your stir fry, in your mouth, etc.), but do you know where it’s been? I mean, really know? You can now, thanks to a video (below) by Refinery29.

The video takes spice lovers behind the scenes of the Sriracha factory to explore just how red jalapenos, which grow only four months out of the year, are minced into a fiery paste and placed inside those iconic green-lidded bottles.

First, the peppers, 21 tons of them delivered on the daily (or 100 million pounds a year), make their way into the Sriracha factory in Irwindale, California. How does one building hold so many peppers, you may be wondering? At 650,000 square feet, it’s a beast of a building — that’s why. 

The jalapenos are hand-inspected and washed before they’re tossed into a grinder, which hashes the veggies into a paste of peppers, salt and vinegar.

The movement doesn’t stop there; after that, the mixture is stored in bright blue barrels to be used throughout the year. Later, it’s mixed with garlic and sugar — plus other ingredients that the factory keeps top secret.

Sriracha bottles are made in the factory, too. They start out as small plastic vials that are then expanded, filled with the pepper sauce, topped with green caps and adorned with labels.

Are you craving sriracha? We are, too. Here’s the perfect dish to satisfy your spice fix.

We can almost taste it now. Want to see the whole process in detail? Check it out below.

Source: Refinery29/YouTube / Photo credit: Paul Narvaez/Flickr

Tags: factory, how it's made, sriracha
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Once Again, The Sriracha Factory Could Be In Trouble


By Cooking Panda

After the city of Irwindale filed its second lawsuit against the most prominent makers of Sriracha chili sauce, the company decided to fight back with a countersuit.

In 2010, Huy Fong Foods opened a 23-acre factory in order to produce about 20 million bottles of the most well-known version of Sriracha hot sauce. However, local residents complained of various health concerns as a result of the smell from the hot sauce production process, including watery eyes, headaches, and heartburn, according to Munchies.

In 2013, the city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit against the factory, which resulted in a 30-day ban enforced by the California Department of Public Health. The world was concerned that there would be a Sriracha shortage. However, the ban was lifted after the South Coast Air Quality Management District stated there was no evidence of air quality violations.

In May 2016, the city filed another lawsuit, alleging the company has not paid its annual payment of $250,000 since 2014. The $250,000 fee had been paid from 2012 to 2014 in lieu of tax payments, but no installments were paid for 2015. The city sought $427,085 in damages.

After having reached an agreement to pay the fourth and fifth installments by November 2016 and January 2017, the company has decided to countersue. Huy Fong Foods alleged that the city of Irwindale has harassed the company and should return the $750,000 in payments that were “voluntarily paid to City Hall,” as reported by City News Service.

“In the summer of 2014, information was published revealing that [the city] had embarked on a long campaign to impose expensive and unnecessary odor abatement measures on Huy Fong Foods and even to shut down its manufacturing facility,” the countersuit reported. “After falling victim to this campaign of harassment at the hands of [the city]… Huy Fong Foods decided not to make further contributions to a city openly hostile to its business interests.”

The countersuit added that Huy Fong Foods has greatly contributed to the local community, and gives away $100,000 annually through free T-shirts, Sriracha sauce and Sriracha-inspired snacks.

“Huy Fong Foods has employed local residents and held job fairs for local workers for the past three years,” the countersuit states. “The factory is a popular tourist destination and brings visitors and revenue into the city – – so popular, in fact, that Huy Fong Foods added two trams to transport visitors around the plant and even opened a [gift] shop.”

Sources: Munchies, City News Service via San Gabriel Valley Tribune / Photo credit:  Hillary Dixler/Eater

Tags: City of Irwindale, countersuit, hot sauce, Huy Fong Foods, Lawsuit, sriracha
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Sriracha Sauce Is Coming To A McDonald’s Near You


By Cooking Panda

Now you can enjoy the taste of Sriracha at the Golden Arches.

An exclusive Sriracha Big Mac sauce has debuted at McDonald’s restaurants throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle, combining two iconic flavors as part of the Signature Crafted Sandwich menu.

“The combination of Sriracha with our iconic Big Mac Sauce is the perfect blend of ingredients that speaks to our flavor fans who love Sriracha,” Chef Michael Haracz, Manager of Culinary Innovation at McDonald’s USA, said in a company press release. “Summer is the perfect time to enjoy great food that will please your taste buds.”

The Signature Sriracha sandwich includes the Sriracha Big Mac sauce, white cheddar cheese, onions, baby spinach, baby kale, and tomatoes. Customers in San Diego and Los Angeles can choose from Pico Guacamole, Maple Bacon Dijon, Deluxe or the new Signature Sriracha, while customers throughout Seattle will be able to pick from Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon or new Signature Sriracha.

“Signature Sriracha provides our customers with an exclusive blend of two wildly popular flavors, Sriracha and Big Mac Special Sauce, creating a spicy flavor in a way only McDonald’s can do,” said Bob Sutherland, president of the San Diego County McDonald’s Owner/Operators Association. “The new flavor and Signature Crafted menu are just a few of the many ways we’re changing to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

The limited-edition Signature Sriracha Big Mac sauce is currently available at participating locations in San Diego and Los Angeles, and will debut in Seattle on July 7.

McDonald’s is just one of several companies that have attempted to introduce the beloved Sriracha sauce into their products over the past few years. Naturally, some products were better received than others.

Taco Bell, another fast-food rival, introduced several Sriracha items into its menu at Kansas City-area stores in 2014.

While trying several new flavors from Pizza Hut’s menu, the reviewer from The Consumerist had mixed emotions about the Sriracha-inspired offering.

“The Sweet Sriracha Dynamite features a Honey Sriracha sauce with a Honey Sriracha crust edge and honey Sriracha sauce drizzle,” the article said. “Something told me I was supposed to be tasting honey and Sriracha and I just felt kind of bossed around.”

Will McDonald’s entice customers with its Signature Sriracha sandwich? Only time will tell.

Sources: McDonald's, Consumerist (2) / Photo credit: Burger Lad

Tags: Big Mac Sauce, limited edition, mcdonald's, Signature Sriracha, sriracha
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Popular Salad Chain Sweetgreen Axes Bacon And Sriracha From Its Menu


By Cooking Panda

After announcing that it’s “time to make America healthy again”, the fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen has decided to nix both bacon and Sriracha from its menu, according to a May 25 Medium post that was emailed to customers.

“Today, we roll out some changes to our core menu — we’ve removed bacon and Sriracha, and we’ve added warm portobello mix and roasted steelhead to our everyday offering, with the Hello Portobello and OMG Omega bowls,” reads the post.

“Our updated signature menu is a dynamic lineup of dishes featuring freshly cooked healthy food, like roasted chicken, baked falafel, roasted tofu, roasted steelhead and roasted portobello mushrooms.”

While I doubt that anybody is seriously arguing that Sriracha is a super-health food (never mind bacon), the decision has still thus far been met with a lukewarm reception, with many customers taking to social media to voice their displeasure with the company’s new menu.

“I’ll have a kale caesar heavy dressing, but hold the politics please, @sweetgreen” —@jennifanglee. 

However, according to Chef Michael Stebner’s statement, much of the resentment probably stems from customers’ ignorance about what they are actually consuming when they order a conventional restaurant meal; Stebner alleges that unnecessary and unhealthy amounts of sugar and cream are added to up the flavor ante in restaurant dishes, “so that chef-guest trust is undermined.”

“I’m not adding a bunch of junk to your food,” he writes. “I’m starting with the best and then leaving it alone — that’s our food philosophy at sweetgreen. This kind of food is inherently healthful and nutritious, and your good health is an output of eating natural, simple food like that.

“As the signs in our stores say, we’ve gone ‘less sweet and more green.’ And I couldn’t be more proud of the progress we’ve made.”

For such a fast-growing company, it’s a bold move to completely exile one of America’s most hyped-up and overplayed ingredients: bacon. However, as Grubhub reports, the chain does claim, “Simply put, you can’t be a healthy food business and serve bacon.”

My own taste preferences aside, I can only commend Sweetgreen for its commitment to serving only the food it believes in; even if it costs the company some of its formerly loyal customers.

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Sources: Medium, Grubstreet, jennifanglee/twitter / Photo Sources: KatieCostello/Twitter, PamEngel12/Twitter, Sweetgreen/NY Mag

Tags: bacon, salad, sriracha, sweetgreen
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