Sriracha, for the uninitiated, is a chilli sauce, thicker and sweeter than Tabasco, with a garlicky tang. They eat it in Thailand and Vietnam, though the world’s top brand is made in California with a distinctive rooster on the bottle. Once you have Sriracha in the fridge, you find yourself adding it to many ad hoc meals: fried eggs, falafel, corn fritters. It’s ketchup for grown-ups: a comforting dab of something sweet and spicy that makes everything taste familiar.
I’m fond enough of Sriracha, as mass-market condiments go. But mere fondness does not cut it in this age of social media. Sriracha is one of many foods — see also pulled pork, avocado toast, popcorn, kale, and custard doughnuts — that are now the objects of lunatic devotion on Twitter.