Sriracha hot sauce goes great with everything — from burgers to Bloody Marys.
But what exactly is the science behind the sauce that makes it so tasty and popular?
The American Chemical Society (ACS) breaks down what happens to us chemically when we consume the hot sauce, in a quick video posted on YouTube.
The main ingredients in Sriracha are fresh red chilis, vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar. The key to our love affair with the sauce is the first ingredient.
Inside red chilis are molecules called capsaicinoids, according to the video.
These molecules trigger the TRPV1 protein in our mouths, which responds to temperatures above 109 degrees Fahrenheit or spicy foods.
To respond to the burn, your body releases pain-killing endorphins.
In other words, when eating Sriracha, we first experience pain before we feel pleasure.
So how does Sriracha compare with other spicy foods?
The Scoville scale is a measure of spicy foods, using Scoville heat units. According to the ACS video, Sriracha comes in at 1,000-2,500 SHU. In comparison, Tabasco sauce is 2,500-5,000 SHU, while a habanero pepper is 350,000 SHU.
Sriracha is manufactured by Huy Fong Foods, founded more than 30 years ago by a Chinese immigrant from Vietnam.