Sriracha fever shows no signs of breaking, especially now that the shortage crisis has probably passed. Huy Fong Foods, which whips up the most iconic version, has been offering tours of its Irwindale, California-based factory, but East Coasters are out of luck for now. So we must content ourselves with this little peek into Rooster Sauce and the ingredients that make it so deliciously addictive.

It seems the things that make the sauce taste great are also the things that preserve it, to a degree. Vinegar, salt and sugar act as natural antimicrobials, which contribute to sriracha's long shelf life and its ability to maintain that deep red color. Potassium sorbate, commonly found in food items, also inhibits mold growth while sodium bisulfite prevents oxidation, which also helps maintain color.

Take a look at a little history of the (now outdated) Scoville scale and the new process by which we rank our fiery foods.

And hey—sriracha doesn't require refrigeration! The more you know...

Don't forget you can make your own sriracha, if you're so inclined, or even try something new.

[h/t The Awl]