Huy Fong Foods, the people who makes the famous Sriracha sauce, has an Open House 4 times a year, where they bring in truck loads of the chilies, grind them and prepare them for their famous chili sauce.
I was on a wait list and a week prior received good news that I was accepted for the 11:00 am tour on Saturday, September 17. The event is completely free, and its a self tour (unless you’re lucky to get a VIP tour). We arrived just before 11:00 and the staff handed me a ticket then directed me to a lot to park. The ticket was then exchanged at the registration booth for a coupon for free swag (which comes at the end of the tour.
Meanwhile after registration, there’s no direction where to go. Lucky there’s plenty of people milling around, and the guests directed me to the front door, where you need the red hair nets (bouffants) to start the tour. The tour led us into an area where there were trucks filled with thousands of chilies.
We got there just in time to see a truck unload a cargo of the chilies, and dust was flying everywhere. I saw people holding tissues, which they said they got in the other room. I never saw it, but it didn’t affect me too bad. There was even a basket of chilies you could take some home.
After the unloading area, you follow the tour to the washing area, then the grinding area. The next room is the mixing area, where the chilies gets the secret Rooster ingredients before being stored in huge blue containers for 6 months. After the hibernation / fermentation, the chilies are bottled (and the bottles are made in house) and shipped worldwide.
As we left the tour, we were given food samples of the Sriracha flavored chips, nuts, and food from 85 degrees..
After the snacks, we went to another line to get our free gifts:
– a drawstring backpack
– 1 of 3 types of chilies
– a Huy Fong Food t-shirt
Afterwards, we went to get some sriracha ice cream.
It was a great tour, and we spent about 2 hours there. Some people said they spent 30-45 minutes, but if you really want to see how things are made, take your time and view all the nooks and crannies HFF has to offer. There were plenty of places for photo opportunities as well.
Thumbs up to this tour, and its even sweeter that its 100% free.