Food trends are notoriously fickle, they have a nasty little habit of fizzling out almost as fast as the public can keep up with the must have ingredient of the moment.
We're all familiar with the arc of this narrative: a previously obscure food all of a sudden catches the attention of tastemakers, and rides the resulting flood of public adoration into the feeds of every Instagram user and blog reader. It appears in Saveur and The New York Times. Every single restaurant puts it on the menu. Then, all of a sudden, nobody is talking about it anymore, except in the context of "Remember when xxx was cool? Ugh, that was so last year."
To be fair, it's not that these foods disappear, or suddenly become a hated object of society. No, rather, they assimilate into the mainstream. They become so popular and so widespread that they turn into pantry staples, something that absolutely everyone simply takes for granted.
(Major bonus points if anybody is chanting kale, kale, kale as they read this.)
Unfortunately, Sriracha chile sauce has had it's moment and now it's over.
First, there's the burnout argument: yes, apparently even hot sauce can get too hot. The general consensus seems to be that Sriracha just isn't trendy anymore. What was once coolest, most item on the edge of the American palette has worked its way into everything from hummus to popcorn.
Some people even like to drown everything on their plate in the stuff (just search #sriracha on Instagram, you'll see what I mean). We keep our Sriracha next to the ketchup and mustard, and when is the last time either of those were Instagram worthy? Even Bon Appetit editor Matt Gross has stated definitively, "Sriracha—it's over!"
Finally, you know people can sense weakness in the market when a smattering of "craft" and "higher quality" Sriracha-like sauce have hit the shelves at local epicurean outlets. Hell, you can even go full granola and make your own. In short, there's many ways out there the eternally evolving hipster is trying to out-Sriracha Sriracha.
I won't argue with you that Sriracha tastes good—it certainly does, and rightfully belongs in the condiment section of the cupboard. Really, though, is it still cool to be posting pictures of your tacos, your pasta (yikes) and your salad slathered in Sriracha in 2016? Sadly, I don't think so.