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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

What makes Sriracha sauce such a hot hit? Find out at Abu Dhabi screening

A documentary on the super-popular hot sauce will be screened in Abu Dhabi and introduced by the film's maker, Griffin Hammond

Sriracha: the perfect garnish?
Sriracha: the perfect garnish?

Here's one for foodies and filmmakers, alike. Sriracha, a documentary on the super-popular hot sauce, by filmmaker Griffin Hammond will be screened in Abu Dhabi on January 31.

The award-winning film, which has a running time of about 35 minutes, was made in 2014. It caught the attention of The American Film Showcase body, which brings independent films made in the United States to viewers around the world, usually in association with the US embassy in each country. Hammond was chosen to be the organisation's film envoy last year, and is in the UAE to both showcase Sriracha to various audiences, as well as to interact with and teach filmmaking students across the Emirates.

Sriracha is an informative and entertaining look at the popularity and origins of the hot sauce, which was first made by a stay-at-home mum in Thailand. However, it was brought to the US by Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant David Tran, who started his enterprise by filling each bottle one spoon at a time. He now produces close to 18,000 bottles an hour.

Although Tran has not trademarked the name, his company Huy Fong remains the most common sriracha brand - with a strong presence in the UAE - and the documentary shows how it's produced, alongside tongue-in-cheek endorsements by fans - who allegedly pour it over anything edible. "I smuggle my own bottle into restaurants and even wedding receptions," says one, "and invariably end up sharing it with the rest of the table."

The film also effectively utilises a range of songs dedicated to the sauce, by artists such as Cosby Sweater, Rusty Redenbacher, Liam Taylor and Si Pettit; as well as advertisements by independent creatives (Huy Fong has never officially advertised). That does not stop fans from sharing their views, though.

A post shared by Sriracha King (@srirachaking) on

"Tabasco continues to outsell sriracha in the US. However, it does not enjoy the same level of fandom and passion, which struck me as weird. That's why I decided to make this film," Hammond tells me as he's on way from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah to meet a bunch of filmmaking students.

Find out what all the fuss is about for yourself at the 8.30pm screening on January 31, at the Manarat Al Saadiyat auditorium; free entry

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