Huy Fong sriracha—the most popular brand of the spicy Southeast Asian condiment—has become so synonymous with the bird depicted on its label, it’s widely referred to as “Rooster Sauce.” But where did the rooster come from, and what does it have to do with a Vietnamese chili sauce?

Modern Farmer tracked down Huy Fong founder David Trang to get the story behind the artwork. Like many iconic logos, it comes with its own surprising lore.

Apparently, the original rooster was sketched by a random street artist in Vietnam back in the ’70s. Tran doesn’t even remember the guy’s name, but there was a good reason for requesting a rooster sketch:

The rooster is Tran’s Chinese Zodiac symbol – a 12-month astrological chart that aligns an animal with each year and assigns traits based on them….The rooster is also a symbol of strength, Tran adds. Roosters are often used in Vietnam to fight against each other. Even when they’re struggling to stay alive, they’ll still keep fighting.

Eventually, when he fled Vietnam and brought his business to the U.S., Tran “commissioned a Chinatown artist to re-draw the original bird – he wanted a larger and sharper image of the rooster for his bottles, which he started manufacturing in his current-day Irwindale, California, factory in 1980.”

Now you know.



[via Modern Farmer]

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