The Sriracha bottle is unmistakeable. Adorning the front of the bottle is a sketch of a rooster that has quite the history behind it. via Modern Farmer:
The genesis of this iconic image took place back in the ‘70s, on the streets of a war-ridden Vietnam. David Tran, Vietnam native and founder of Huy Fong Foods, stumbled upon a street artist. Tran asked for a drawing of a rooster, and the rest was history.
“We don’t have a connection,” Tran tells Modern Farmer, speaking of this artist whose name he never bothered to ask. “And even me, I don’t remember who he is.”
When Tran began making his original chili pepper sauce, pepper sate, a tiny version of the sketch was used to label the caps of his bottles. Then in April of 1975, with Vietnam in shambles, Tran fled for Hong Kong, then to Boston and finally to Los Angeles, with dreams of expanding his business.
Of course, he carried this sketch of the rooster with him all along the way. Some time after arriving to the states, he commissioned a Chinatown artist to re-draw the original bird – he wanted a larger and sharper image of the rooster for his bottles, which he started manufacturing in California in 1980.
His choice of a rooster wasn’t simply a matter of preference. The rooster is Tran’s Chinese Zodiac symbol – a 12-month astrological chart that aligns an animal with each year and assigns traits based on them.