Food

This Is the Condiment You Need to Buy Now 

Forget Sriracha—Chile Crunch is the next every-sauce.
Chile Crunch adds heat and texture to dishes. Photograph via Facebook.

Like most culinarily-minded people, I buy a lot of condiments. The shelves of my fridge—nicknamed the “Condiment Cooler” by friends —are packed with a global variety of mustards and hot sauces, relishes and salsas. Picking a favorite is impossible, but I’ve come closer after discovering Chile Crunch.

What gives this sauce a leg up on Sriracha is texture. Creator Susie Hojel, a Mexico City native, toasts a mixture of roasted chilies, garlic, and onion, which are packed in canola oil. Each spoonful yields a crispy mix of spices along with heat and smoke. The peppers aren’t searing, which is only a negative when it comes to rationing; the last jar I brought to a barbecue was emptied in hours—light speed in condiment years—heaped on a hummus dip and potato salad, grilled steak and fish, or just swiped up with a baguette. So yes, it’s versatile.

Local retailer Ah Love Olive Oil typically carries Chile Crunch at its Union Market stall and two Virginia shops, but apparently the secret is out. A manager says the last three shipments have sold out quickly, though they plan to restock soon. In the meantime you can order jars on the company website ($9.95). Plan ahead and grab two.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.