Sriracha fans are pretty dedicated. Some even carry the iconic rooster sauce on their keychains in case of emergency. But some enthusiasts believe their beloved sauce tastes off lately - and they may be onto something.
For nearly 30 years, the company behind Sriracha, Huy Fong Foods, used peppers supplied by Underwood Ranches. Now, the two companies are in the midst of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, according to San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
In 2017, Huy Fong sued Underwood Ranches for more than $1.46 million. Underwood countersued saying they were due $20 million by the hot sauce makers.
Underwood claims Huy Fong bailed on their partnership after asking the growers to construct a specialty pepper-washing system. In an Instagram post, Huy Fong argues that Underwood dropped them to make a rooster sauce rival.
"The chili peppers HF had been receiving in the past was supplied only by one grower, Underwood Ranches, for the past 28 years. In 2017, Underwood Ranches, who had made high profits with its relationship with HF, decided to stop growing chili peppers for HF without any warning. In 2018, Underwood Ranches came out with their own Sriracha Sauce but is suing HF for damages in excess of $20 million dollars. Underwood expects HF to pay back the "golden goose" that they themselves killed. Trial date is set in Ventura, CA for April 29, 2019."
The trial is expected to begin this week, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
But this whole debacle leaves many fans questioning whether the original Sriracha is as good as they remember.
"New siraccha [sic] tastes like crap without the Underwood peppers," writes one Instagram commenter.
Another person says, "I was wondering if I were crazy thinking new Sriracha tasted differently. Now I know. Damn..."
It's not clear what Huy Fong currently uses to make their Sriracha. Super fans may want to scour ebay for original bottles containing the Underwood peppers.
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