If you want to make your summer even hotter or know someone who loves spicy food, this gift might just be the perfect size for you!
A few years ago, my son had a friend over to our house for the first time. As I was serving quesadillas for lunch, the friend asked, “Excuse me, do you have any Sriracha sauce? Really, any hot sauce would be great.”
Hot sauce…for a 10 year old? Never mind, I’d never seen anyone—regardless of age–put hot sauce on a quesadilla!
For those not familiar with Sriracha, or “Rooster Sauce” as it sometimes known, it is a hot (and I mean hot!) sauce made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It’s named after a city in Eastern Thailand, Si Racha, where local dishes are flavored with a similar sauce. Sriracha has an almost cult-like following, with its fans searching out the distinctive bottle with the rooster on it.
Over the years, we’ve learned this particular friend loves spicy foods—the spicier the better! When my son needed a birthday gift for this friend, we decided to use the friend’s palate as the inspiration for the gift. We headed to Cost Plus World Market and found a wide variety of spicy food items—from sauces to jelly beans to chocolates. (Your local grocery store would likely have many of these items…you’d just need to search amongst many more products and many more aisles!)
One unexpected, though pleasantly surprising, thing about this gift was how much my son enjoyed shopping for items to include. He had fun searching the aisles, weighing the options and keeping within a budget I had set. In short, he had skin in the game, which made the gift selection far more personal. This is especially noteworthy because the first question he usually asks when we stop any store is, “Can I wait in the car?”
Left to his own devices, my 12-year-old son would have been quite happy gifting the items in the brown paper bag we carried out of the store. (He would’ve been okay. Me? Not so much.) We arranged the items in a box, added some paper crinkles & wrapped everything in cellophane. He made a birthday card that read, “To a Friend with a Real Kick” though there are many other options that could work with this collection of items (“To Someone Who’s Hot Stuff”; “Hope your summer is sizzling hot…”)
The gift was a big hit with his friend and the Sriracha Peas were opened before the party ended. My son was psyched because in his words, “The other kids gave him gift cards. I gave him things I knew he would like. Even the shopping wasn’t so bad.”