Unless you live under a rock, you’ve definitely heard of Sriracha: the do-all hot sauce perfect for everything from pho, to burgers and more. Lately, the condiment has been taking the world by storm, even causing Heinz to create Sriracha flavored ketchup. If you’ve ever wondered why Sriracha is so addicting, science has your back. Here are the four scientific reasons why Sriracha is bae:
1. It doesn’t just taste good, it makes you feel good.
Back in 2014, the American Chemical Society (ACS) released this video explaining the science behind the popular hot sauce. Apparently, the molecules in Sriracha make your body release endorphins, the same hormone your body releases after exercising, eating chocolate and having sex.
2. It isn’t the hottest hot sauce around.
Sriracha has a pretty mild heat compared to other hot sauces, making it more widely appealing. On the Scoville scale, which measures spiciness, Sriracha ranks between 1,000 and 2,500. Tabasco, however, falls between 2,500 and 5,000, while the habanero rings in at 350,000 units. It’s easy to see that Sriracha has just enough heat to please the spice lovers, but not enough to turn the rest of us away.
3. It doesn’t make your eyes water or nose burn like wasabi does.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, the molecules that make Sriracha spicy are relatively heavy, allowing them stay in your mouth. On the other hand, wasabi has molecules that are relatively light. This allows them to waft up to your eyes and nose, causing all of the extreme reactions in this video.
4. It basically never goes bad.
Thanks to preservatives, Sriracha remains edible for an incredibly long time (as long as it’s refrigerated). The natural preservatives in Sriracha (salt, vinegar and garlic) act as antimicrobial preservatives, while the artificial ones prevent molding and browning. Thus, your bottle of Sriracha stays fresh and bright red for a miraculously long time.
Thanks, science, for creating this modern culinary masterpiece that can be put on anything, anywhere, anytime.