Why Tabasco Is – and Always Will Be – Better than Sriracha


In which Tabasco is a dapper, crotchety old gentleman and Sriracha is a hip and trendy cock.


Okay folks, let’s rap. More precisely, let’s rap about Sriracha.


Picthx NPR


Sriracha is one of those internet-famous things, like bacon and memes, that everyone knows about and has loved since – I dunno – FOREVER, but no one really remembers the origins of, nor can even imagine ever having lived without.


But I’m here to remind you that, yes, we did have something else. Some other source of fire and heat with which we could all brighten our days and fill our otherwise meaningless lives with joy and fulfillment.


That’s right, I’m talking about Tabasco.


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Remember it?


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Slim, glass, respectably designed and brought to us by the fine gentlemen over at McIlhenny in Louisiana?


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Known for its cutting, vinegary-taste and its whopping 2,500 rating on the Scoville scale (about 50% the heat of a jalapeno, but still a good 300 points over Sriracha, thank you very much)?

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Yeah, well, while all you guys have been OBSESSING over Sriracha, making Sriracha porn videos and Sriracha underwear and Sriracha comic strips, Tabasco’s just sitting here, chilling, being better than Sriracha in almost every way, with literally no one giving it the attention it deserves.


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Well, enough is enough. “Open your brain tank brah, ‘cause here comes some premium 91 octane knowledge.”


For starters, Tabasco is a work of art.

Following the company’s century’s old tradition, the peppers used for Tabasco are handpicked, ground into mash and placed in oak aging barrels for up to three years. Then, once the peppers have adequately matured, the mash is strained, mixed with vinegar and left to age again for another month before finally being bottled. You see how careful and involved that process is? It’s practically the same as whiskey. Fancy-shmancy oak barrel whiskey!


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You know how Sriracha’s made? They just take a bunch of peppers and ground them all together, skin and all! In other words, this thing is literally just a hot mess.


Blue Kale Road


And you know what else? That whole “Sriracha goes great with everything” thing? Who ever said that was a good thing? You know, we have names for people like that. Kiss asses. And brown noses.


You know who Tabasco is trying to impress?


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It knows it only goes well with tacos, eggs and oysters and guess what? It likes it that way.


Picthx Caterer and Hotel Keeper


It doesn’t need to compromise its values just to please everyone else (except, okay, for that whole “we’re gonna make our own version of Sriracha” thing). But aside from that, totally steadfast. Tabasco is like the Walt Kowalski of hot sauces. It’s the Stairway to Heaven of spice.


I mean, yeah Sriracha tastes like “a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns,” and looks amazing when drizzled over macaroni and cheese.


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And in salt form.


And on vegetables.


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And heck, even over ice cream.


But Tabasco’s old (145 to be exact; at 33, Sriracha is a wee baby in its eyes).


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And . . . we need to respect our elders.


And what’s with that stupid rooster anyway, amirite?



It’s not like the combination of garlic and spice even tastes that good.


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And that kick of sweetness on top of Sriracha’s pasty, ketchup-y texture (especially when compared to Tabasco’s soupy, watered-down spice-vinegar swamp puddle of doom)? Totally overrated.


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. . .


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. . .


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. . .


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Yep, overrated.


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. . .


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. . .


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. . .


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 . . . Oh, shut up.


Lead Picthx Thisissambennett 

Dominique would be a foodie if she had money to pay for food. For now, she gets by just looking at food photography, which results in at least one more starving journalism student every time Instagram breaks down.

In this article:
  • http://www.facebook.com/cliff.moser Cliff Moser

    …and don’t even get us started about Cholula!

  • Orchid Sixty-four

    I was out of the country for 23 years, so I missed all of the sriracha business. In Japan (the country in which I was hiding), it’s Tabasco all the way, especially on pizza. I always think of heavy condiments as what you use on food that doesn’t taste particularly good to begin with. More power to sriracha lovers, but a few dabs of Tabasco tend to do for me.

  • http://twitter.com/elieayrouth Elie Ayrouth

    I see what you did there Dominique. But seriously. Outside of the Chipotle Tabasco…there really is no more need. OUT WITH THE OLD

  • Good Timescharlie

    Oh sweetheart, can you bottle the tears of defeat you will shed when the boys from Avery Island release their own version of Sriracha sometime in 2014?(fact) I think they would add a bittersweet bite of disenchantment to any dish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jared.castle Jared Castle

    Sad times for
    ol’ Tabasco for sure. Their marketing team is in overdrive, trying to stanch
    the bleeding. Where do you go after Green Pepper, Habanero, Chipolte and Garlic
    Pepper? I think the problem is Sriracha is cheaper for restaurants and food
    trucks to stock than Tabasco — and the bottle is bigger.

    I compared Tabasco, Sriracha and Lingham’s in my Amazon review: http://amzn.to/15U2AvP.

  • el Diablo

    Interestingly enough:


    Sraracha is rated best, and Tabasco is not recommended!

    Frank’s is good stuff… I usually take Louisiana sauce and add fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, and a touch of honey. Mmmmm. Good stuff.

  • http://blog.headsign.de/ mat

    I read about Srichara on sites like Oatmeal and I thought it had to be great. Then I found my favourite Viet restaurant was starting to swap Sambal with Srichara so I tried it there and found that it tasted like chili marmelade. I like to choose when to sweeten my meal and when to spice it up so for me it’s Sambal and Tabasco all the way. That is, at least, as long as there’s not a flask of Painmaker within reach ;)

  • Jeff Pipkin

    Wow. This blog could not be more wrong. I tried to like Tabasco but almost every other hot sauce I use tends to taste better. Tabasco has way too much of a vinegar taste for me. Srichara is my new favorite with Crystal and Cholula not far behind.

    • http://twitter.com/elieayrouth Elie Ayrouth

      Sriracha > Tabasco, personally.


      • http://www.facebook.com/Khoi.M.Vo Khoi Minh Vo

        …did you guys not read to the end of the post?

  • http://twitter.com/odroku Randall Hauk

    I guess you got what you wanted, which is the click, but you know you got it all wrong. Tabasco has next to no personality or flavor. Just heat. Boring. Anyone can do heat with the right peppers. Sriracha decided to add flavor, even if the actual heat is relatively muted by comparison. It’s rare I will say someone is “wrong” in matters of taste, but you are missing out if you honestly prefer tabasco!

  • Bill

    Tabasco is a little too heavy on the vinegar. I greatly prefer Louisiana Hot Sauce – or when I want some more heat, Alabama Sunshine XXX.

  • Brian Mooney

    Fun stuff. Wanted to let you know that the Sriracha Grizzly image you have is actually done by Matt @ the Oatmeal. Since you’ve already linked his site, you might want to attribute that one correctly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jared.castle Jared Castle

      Honor the artist. Attribute.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pbrowland Pete Rowland

    The problem with Tabasco is the vinegar, it’s more acid than hot. The only thing vinegar should be in/on is Fish & Chips or salad dressing. Definitely should not be in my tasty ramen firestorm.

    • Fnordius

      That is why I prefer the chipotle version of Tabasco. The vinegar taste in the original Tabasco does limit it, but there are cases where it does work better. Just like using the proper knife when cooking, or the proper saw when woodworking.

      • Chuck Finley

        Agreed – and the Chipotle Tabasco is excellent once you get used to it not tasting like original Tabasco very much. Regardless – all versions of Tabasco are infinitely superior to the chalky, pasty, bitter goo that is sriracha – blech.

    • Anonymous

      You can also use cheap white vinegar mixed with a little water to clean your kitchen counters and such. Cheaper than 409. Also vinegar is good for getting the calcium or mineral stains out of your tea pot or pots and pans.

  • RAN58

    Nice post. Love Tabasco sauce. It made a difference when eating C-rations in the Army.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jared.castle Jared Castle

      Everything non-Army makes a difference when you’re in the Army. Tabasco. Movie night. Entertainment. New underwear and socks. Your point is made.

  • Sarah

    This article just made me want Sriracha more. Especially with those food pictures at the end.

  • http://twitter.com/SrirachaBook Sriracha Cookbook

    Cool story, brah.

  • Some Rabbit

    Yeah well, different tastes for different foods. Sriracha mixed with mayo is great on sandwiches. But definitely Tabasco for eggs and Mexican dishes. I keep both on my kitchen counter.

  • fundcappy

    Never cared for Tobasco. Love me some Sriracha.

  • Dwayne Hoover

    Sometimes Sriracha is appropriate, sometimes you need a southern-style, vinegar-based hot sauce. For those times, there’s Crystal.

    • Anonymous

      i concur. crystal is my sauce. tried sriracha once and tossed the bottle. im addicted to anything with a fair amount of vinegar though, so that could explain my dislike for sriracha. i even prefer crystal over cholula, and cholula is some pretty good sheet.


    You’re right, Dominique. Tabasco is better – if you like chili grown in Central America, if you like chili that is 1000 days old, and if you like to support the super profits made by the royal Mcihenny family.

  • Paul Bolin

    Frank’s Original Hot Sauce is superior to both. It an cheerfully be dumped on anything to excellent effect. Sriracha is much too sweet and Tabasco is much too vinegary – except for the chipotle variant – for most foods. And if something truly hot is desired, as it often is in my house. Melindas XXX Habanero Sauce is the Real Deal.

    Bonus points, though, for the Pinkie Pie gif.

  • jallen5

    Tobasco and Sriracha are for babies. Try Tapatio. I bet you will never go back to Tobasco. And it tastes so much better than Sriracha.

  • Anonymous

    It is pssible that this is THE most annoying web page since the Geocities age. Looks just like it. Lots of aninmated GIFS that only 12 year olds like, and pictures that the author THINKS are hilarious…but only because she is a dumb c*nt with no job.

  • Anonymous

    Why not all of them for different things? I love Tabasco Chipotle flavor for it’s smokey taste on lots of things. I eat Sriracha when I go out for Vietnamese and at home. I haven’t tried Crystal. I think you pay extra for the wooden cap on the bottle of Cholula.

    I’ve grown tired of “chunky” salsa. I usually take them home and puree them in the blender now.

    All of you should probably try some of the Bulgarian Lutencias and Ajvar which are a lot of roasted red bell pepper sauces from mild to hot. If you go to a good Indian/Eastern European/Pakistani groceries, you may be able to find them there.


  • XiaoXiong

    Pretty sure nobody would be eating Sriracha if it weren’t trendy to do so. Americans are just a bunch of sheep.

    • nikhita makhijani

      Nobody except me cause I’m 20 and I’ve been eating Sriracha all my life. Actually I just discovered Tabasco this year, otherwise I always used to run away from that stuff.

    • llUSMCll

      You’re the sheep, pal. Because you blog and insult Americans on ther own sites. It’s obvious you came in illegal in a shipping container. Did mom and pop even survive the journey? Atleast they didn’t sell you to a foreign pedophile, like most Asian families do in improvished Asian countries. You can atleast be thankful to them for that.

  • Cale Lewis

    wow.. I never thought at the end of that I’d find so many morons who didn’t get the joke… seriously people, she may as well have whacked you over the head with a bottle of Sriracha and said “use this, it’s better, idiot”

    • llUSMCll

      You’re the moron, pal. Because it takes a moron to know one.

    • Roland

      The photos on the end does make that very clear. But besides her jokes she actually sells Tabasco, and making it look highly superior. And there are many sauces that are better then the both of them. So she shot herself in the food. You can tell by the many comments confirming this.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome article! I like both! Srilacha + Pho = heaven

  • Norman Reece

    Elyucatico mayan Rx habanero kisck BOTH their arz!

  • Anonymous

    Who at Tabasco paid you to write this article. The reason hot sauce never took off is because it tastes like ass. It is not a work of art, it is cheap ass garbage.

    Now that the hot sauce industry has created a variety of GOOD tasting sauces, people are moving over to eating it.

  • Ryan Colson

    I think all the sriracha images are here to show tacasco kinda sucks.

  • Anonymous

    Plain old Frank’s RedHot for eggs and wings works for me.

  • Uniscorn

    They’re both sorry excuses for a “hot” sauce.
    I prefer my hot sauces actually spicy, not this popular junk.
    Might as well use ketchup instead & down a bottle of vinegar.

  • foodsapper
  • llUSMCll

    You can find Tabasco sauce in almost every fine French restaurant in Paris and the rest of Europe. Heck, even the World because it’s an American staple. Hence, that says a lot.

    Srichara is a fab. Also, they spend 60% more on marketing. In laymans terms: you could say it’s a lot like Apple Computer, over rated.
    is best used with Asian food.

  • Roland

    I like Sriracha for what it is. But it’s not at the top of my list. Among the top would be Cholula. I don’t live in the states so i can’t get every famous hot sauce, other then through expensive import, but still there’s a decent selection. +1 On the Tabasco Chipotle. Louisiana Hot Sauce and Texas Pete are also contenders. Also try the green Tabasco. And for it’s quality Tabasco is really not a expensive product. Sriracha is simple, it goes really well with Italian food, try it over a pizza and it will always work. But garlic is not wanted on every dish of course (though vinegar is more limiting). But the thing that bothers me most about Sriracha is that IT IS NOT A NATURAL PRODUCT. It’s a cheap product, too easily they went for the artificial and chemical substances. Sriracha is the junk food under the hot sauces, and it also works really well on that. But just like junk food; not too much and not too often.

    • Anonymous

      i dont think very many folks in the states are aware of cholula, i had never heard of it until i worked at a mexican joint. cholula is definitely at the top of my list too. sriracha would be at the bottom.

  • Georgia Peach

    how does green Tabasco which I put on practically everything compare heat and taste wise to the new Green Cholula sauce?

  • Adam Foster

    Want to get Americans hooked on your food? Just add sugar. no thanks Sriracha, give me Tabasco or better yet Louisiana Hot Sauce Brand pepper sauce.