The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

By now, your condiment-imacy with sriracha has grown as hot as the sauce itself. Its sweet and spicy flavor makes the perfect pairing for all of our favorite foods — and yes, that includes dessert.

YouTube science channel Reactions, produced by the American Chemical Society, dove deep into the chemistry behind what makes this beloved hot sauce so tasty.

Sriracha’s spiciness comes from capsaicinoids found in the ground chili peppers that make up the bulk of its base recipe. When our bodies sense the spice, they release pain-relieving bursts of endorphins, similar to the ones your body releases after a long jog.

So even though we’re technically experiencing pain, thanks to endorphins, we’re still able to enjoy the sauce in all its mouth-burning glory. It’s a delicious compromise we’re willing to make.

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Sriracha Recipes

  1. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    1. Homemade Sriracha

    Image: Flickr, Bart Speelman

  2. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    2. Deviled Eggs

    Image: Flickr, JeffreyW

  3. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha
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    4. Bloody Mary

    Image: Flickr, Karyn Christner

  5. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    5. Margaritas

    Image: Flickr, Antti T. Nissinen

  6. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    6. Sangria

    Image: Dan Ruth

  7. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    7. The “Cocky Rooster”

    Image: Flickr, Robb1e

  8. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    8. Caramel Corn

    Image: Flickr, Global Reactions

  9. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    9. Pecan Brittle Brownies

    Image: Flickr, Vegan Feast Catering

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    10. Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Image: Flickr, slgckgc

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    11. Chocolate Ice Cream

    Image: Flickr, Joy

  12. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    12. Banana Fritters

    Image: Flickr, Brandon Daniel

  13. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    13. Mexican Lime Donuts

    Image: Flickr, Joy

  14. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    14. Peach Crisp

    Image: Flickr, Conrad and Peter

  15. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    15. Peach Sorbet

    Image: Flickr, Amy Stephenson

  16. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    16. Whiskey Candies

    Image: Flickr, Robert Benner Sr.

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    17. Peanut Butter

    Image: Flickr, jules

  18. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha
  19. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    19. Sesame Brittle

    Image: Flickr, Joy

  20. The Mouth-Burning Chemistry Behind Sriracha

    20. Maple Pretzels

    Image: Flickr, Joy

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