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How did sambal and sriracha become ubiquitous with Middle Eastern food like falafel and schwarma?

These two seemingly separate cuisines share these two condiments? How did that happen? Is it just complimenting flavors or some kind of entwined history?

asked by finzurriaga over 4 years ago
6 answers 1838 views
401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

I'm not sure that "ubiquitous" is exactly true but sambal and sriracha have a lot in common with the popular Tunisian table condiment harrissa. I would agree that they complement the same types of foods.

0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I've never seen sambal or sriracha served with felafel or schwarma. But if I had to guess, I'd say it's either

1) because they're easier to find, and perhaps more versatile, than harissa, or

2) a victim of the "let's put sriracha on everything!" trend (see also: bacon)

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

Sarah just nailed one of my peeves, "let's put sriracha on everything!". It's the new Heinz ketchup. I have great admiration for the guy who founded Huy Fong Foods but there are places where I just don't want to taste it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Sure. Those answers all make sense. I should've clarified more, I meant a quick service type places that are more focused on schwarmas and sandwiches. My bet would've been on the availability and put sriracha on everything mentality, just wondering if there was more of a history to it than that. Thanks.

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added over 4 years ago

I have had falafel in Israel served with hot sauce, but something indigenous. (Ever had zhug, a hot sauce with Yemenite origins, very popular in Israel? I doubt it was that, but that would be more 'from the culture' than Asian condiments.)

9b94e94b 0205 4f2c bb79 1845dcd6f7d6  uruguay2010 61
added over 4 years ago

I do not associate sambal with Middle Eastern food, but rather Indonesia food. The food of today has blurred the line between cultures with fantastic results. If you study the fusion, you will see how many cultures have similar ingredients, but different. Even my explanation is blurred.

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