There are umpteen stories in the history of American hot sauces that have gone recognized and discussed just in small pockets, inhabiting culture at the community level. The ecosystem of the spice world isn't so different than what wineries once were—defined by the time-built loyalty of customers who reside nearby, comprising of firms no larger than a few dozen employees who don't just work at, but live, the business, and reflecting hyper-local palates shaped by tradition, topography, climate and natively available ingredients.
This profile of El Pato captures a specific bloodline of west coast hot sauce with insight and admiration. They're a 115-year-old, family-run, native-to-California company that produces salsas, mustards, peppers, and pickled items from a facility on the banks of the LA River.
The company's CEO, who comes from the third generation running the business, states a sentiment that we at Hot Saucery feel is both profound and profane in beautiful ways: 'salsa flows in my veins...'