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LA Restaurant Requests Sriracha Donations In Face Of Unprecedented Shortage

Three bottles of Sriracha hot sauce are shown in close-up.
Sriracha bottles
(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson
Getty Images)
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The sriracha shortage has one Los Angeles restaurant asking for hot sauce donations.

Bé Ù is offering banh mi, popcorn chicken, or summer rolls in exchange for an unopened 28-ounce bottle of Sriracha.

Uyen Le, the chef and owner of the Vietnamese street food restaurant, said the eatery goes through more than 300 bottles a year, and "of all the supply chain issues in the world, this one feels personal."

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"It felt accessible enough to our guests and to folks in the community that we thought it's something we could crowdsource," she said. "We do need it in-house, but the other reason is really to show that trying to operate something during this time, with all of these different shortages, creates a lot of challenges."

The hot sauce shortage was announced in April by Huy Fong Foods, the Irwindale-based company that makes Sriracha.

At that time, company representatives said in an email to customers that "severe weather conditions affecting the quality of chili peppers" was to blame. The specific type of peppers used to make Sriracha require constant irrigation, but northern Mexico, where they're grown, is in its second year of drought.

The drought is due in part to climate change.

Some restaurant owners reported earlier this month that cases of the hot sauce had doubled in price. Many are hoping for things to change when fall rolls around.

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