I have to admit, I haven’t always been a lover of spice. I didn’t really understand why people would intentionally put themselves through pain while eating. But I get it now. I want, nay, need, spice in my food, and my gateway condiment was Huy Fong Sriracha. I started by adding just a teensy bit of the sweet-yet-spicy sauce to my morning scrambled eggs, and it slowly made its way onto nearly every dish in my rotation, in ever-increasing doses. But for the past few months, I’ve been forced to make do without the sweet heat of my favorite chili pepper blend due to the Sriracha shortage.

Why is there a Sriracha shortage?

A few months ago, Huy Fong Foods, the maker of the iconic green-capped, rooster-adorned Sriracha that we all know and love, issued their warning. A shortage was coming. If that sounds familiar, it’s because we heard the same terrible news last June. Due to a drought in Mexico last year, the supply of red jalapeño peppers (a critical ingredient in the sauce) has been on the decline. Climate change is real folks, and it’s impacting us all. Luckily, Huy Fong Foods was able to restart production in the fall of 2022 and partially restock shelves, but the “unprecedented inventory shortage” is getting heated again, with no end in sight.

Where can I get Sriracha?

With Sriracha currently unavailable for purchase through Target.com or Walmart.com, and out of stock in stores across the country, it’s safe to say things are getting spicy. Some stores that do have the savory sauce in stock are resorting to rationing how many bottles shoppers can buy. Basically, Sriracha is getting the same treatment as baby formula and early pandemic toilet paper.

Even though we had several warnings, only some were able to stock up on their favorite condiment. Many people, myself included, are now left with an empty spot in their fridge where the Sriracha bottle used to live. Some are willing to go to drastic lengths to fill it. Third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay are taking advantage of this hot market. Normally, a 28-ounce Huy Fong Sriracha bottle will set you back less than $5. At the time of writing, a two-pack of 17-ounce Huy Fong Sriracha bottles is selling for $123.28 on Amazon.com, and a three-pack of Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce is going for the low, low, price of $129.97.

Obviously, not everyone can afford to pay these unpalatable prices for Sriracha. It’s no use having a delicious sauce if you don’t have any food to put it on. So what’s a poor, Sriracha-deprived soul to do? Some are resorting to more, shall we say, unsavory methods to acquire their fave condiment. Restaurants are reporting a major increase in mysteriously missing Sriracha. Huy Fong bottles “literally disappear,” from tables, according to Mariel Edwards, operations manager of the popular Filipino-fusion restaurant Senor Sisig. “We haven’t seen people take them, but there is a bottle that will go missing,” she told SFGate. “It’s funny how, like, they’ll just not be on the table anymore.”

Of course, not all of us are willing to go so far as theft to get our hands on the sauce. Personally, I’ve decided that absence makes the heart grow fonder. There are plenty of other piquant condiments in the sauce sea, and I’ve taken to adding a little bit of Tabasco and Chamoy when I need to add sweet heat to a dish. But if I’m lucky enough to see a bottle of Huy Fong Sriracha on the supermarket shelf, things might get a little spicy.