In the wide world of flavours, the smokiness of whiskey and the hot tang of sriracha are two of my favourites. So when I stumbled upon San Franciso-based sauce maker Sosu Sauces‘ page on crowd-sourced funding site Kickstarter — and its Barrel-Aged Sriracha — I was intrigued.
The company got its start when Chief Sauce Maker Lisa Murphy was challenged by a friend to make a better ketchup. Murphy discovered that ketchup had its origins in a Chinese fish sauce, so she started experimenting with the flavours of her childhood in China and her travels throughout Southeast Asia. The result? Farm-fresh, organic ketchup and a sriracha-ketchup blend called Srirachup, both made with 2 lbs of organic tomatoes — no paste, no preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Following an initial Kickstarter campaign, the fledgling brand was named one of the Best Local Gems of San Francisco by 7×7 Magazine and honored as a Good Food Award Finalist for Srirachup.
Now, Murphy’s on a mission to perfect sriracha. From a marketing perspective, this couldn’t come at a better time, considering the fact that Huy Fong Foods — maker of the famed rooster-emblazoned hot sauce — is currently embroiled in a legal battle over odour pollution claims tied to its California-based factory. The potential of a #srirachapocalypse has gotten hot sauce lovers the world over stirred up, and getting saucy on social media.
Despite my loyalty to the rooster, Sosu Sauce’s new Barrel-Aged Sriracha tops my “gotta try it” taste-testing list. As a health-conscious eater, I look for natural products with as few ingredients as possible. The label for Barrel-Aged Sriracha has me at chili peppers, brown sugar, garlic, and salt. The differentiator: Sosu’s secret pepper mash is aged in whiskey barrels for one to three months, taking on complex flavours rom the oak barrels and the fermentation process used in making whiskey.
As of today, hot sauce-loving consumers have donated a total of $65,195 against Sosu’s initial $20,000 goal. The $20K will help Sosu produce Barrel-Aged Sriracha. With $60K, the company plans to purchase more equipment and expand its product line. If the current campaign reaches $100K (with 15 days to go), Sosu will hunt for a permanent production and storage facility for increased barrel age production.
A saucy suggestion for Murphy? Come on up to Canada and apply to pitch the panel on Dragon’s Den to fund your expansion into the Great White North. We love a little heat up here.