Troves of sriracha lovers would probably be overjoyed to live within sniffing distance of the Huy Fong Foods plant. But for years, officials in the Los Angeles County city of Irwindale have made it pretty clear they aren’t pleased with the idea of their community doubling as the home of a hot sauce mecca. Twice, the city has sued America’s most famous sriracha maker – and now, Huy Fong has decided to fight back with a countersuit. To use the obvious pun, this battle is really heating up.
Torrance-based newspaper the Daily Breeze recently performed its civic duty by updating everyone on this ongoing feud. (Until a dedicated sriracha newspaper exists, this is the best we can hope for.) Reportedly, this most recent suit-countersuit stems from Irwindale’s assertion that the rooster sauce maker isn’t abiding by the terms of an agreement it made back in 2009 where Huy Fong allegedly agreed to give the city $250,000 per year as a payment in lieu of taxes. However, apparently Huy Fong’s feelings about that agreement changed in 2014 after a group of local citizens supposedly complained to the city that the plant was producing a noxious odor. The city council decided to take action to declare the sriracha plant a public nuisance, and Huy Fong CEO David Tran wasn’t pleased.
Related: HOW TO MAKE SRIRACHA AT HOME
“Because we had this odor issue where all five of the City Council members unanimously declared us a public nuisance, without real basis, I feel that Huy Fong Foods is being treated unfairly, so I stop the contributions,” Tran said in a statement according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Not only that, but Tran and his lawyers decided to countersue the city, saying that not only does the company not owe the annual $250,000, but that it wants the $750,000 it already paid back.
From here, it appears it will be up to a judge to sort out just who owes who what. Hopefully the Los Angeles Superior Court can find someone who is unbiased. People can feel pretty strongly about sriracha.