Irwindale: Chili Grinding at Huy Fong Foods  #37flaminyears #sriracha @huyfongfoods 

Huy Fong Foods is known internationally for their famous rooster sauce, Sriracha.  Since 2014, they’ve been offering an Open House and invite the public to view the chilies brought in for grinding.  We had such a fun time last year, we decided to go back.

How to get a ticket: Around July, sign up for your free tickets online (get them early!) and a few days prior you’ll get an email from Huy Fong Foods asking you to sign a waiver.  On the day of the event, show the parking attendant your confirmation, and they’ll hand you a slip of paper to give to registration.  At registration, you’ll get a hair net and a voucher to claim your free gifts at the end of the tour.

They encourage you to take plenty of photos and videos, and to hash tag it with #37FlaminYears (every year there’s a new hash tag).  While heading into the tour, we actually saw the owner and founder David Tran. Unfortunately, he walked into the building and we missed the opportunity to say hi. We did, however, get to take a photo with the HFF Rooster and a cardboard cut out of David.

The tour leads you outside to the delivery area of the chilies.  Since its dusty, they provide you with a tissue, but soon you get used to the dusty peppers.  There’s a bin of discarded chilies you can take home (byo plastic bag).  From there, you follow the chilies to the sorting area, the wash and salt area, and to the bins where they store the chilies for fermenting.

In the next room is the bottle room, where they make the actual bottles for the sauces, fill the bottles, and package for shipping.

As you leave the tour, there’s samples of food made with sriracha to try.  One was ice cream with sriracha, and then you move onto to your free gifts: a hat, this year’s shirt, and a chili sauce of your choice.