The Great Sriracha Debate Heats Up: Are You Team Andrew or Team David?

01/08/2014 at 02:19 PM ET

Andrew Zimmern, David Chang Debate the Merits of Sriracha
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As Miley Cyrus sings, “I never meant to start a war.” But has PEOPLE instigated a food fight?

Things are heating up between chefs Andrew Zimmern and David Chang in what we’re calling the Great Sriracha Debate of 2014. Okay, maybe friendly discourse is more like it — when it comes to hot sauce, there are no losers.

Quick recap: Last month, Bizarre Foods‘ Zimmern called sriracha both one of the top food trends of 2013 and the most overrated item of the last 20 years. “There are a hundred hot sauces and chile condiments I prefer,” he told PEOPLE, and listed a few of them (including Peruvian Aju Limo Paste and Lousiana’s Crystal Hot Sauce) on his website, which sparked some rather spicy reactions.

More recently, Chang defended sriracha to PEOPLE, and reflected on his comrade’s opinion: “I don’t understand how he could hate something so loving and giving. It’s just goodness. It’s good on everything,” the Momofuku restaurant founder enthused.

Round three: “David, while nobody loves your food the way that I do, I have to disagree,” Zimmern wrote on his site, and posted a rebuttal video full of sriracha deep thoughts. “Hot sauce to me should have so many different levels of appeal, and the conventional American-made sriracha just doesn’t have it for me. I think it’s good, but I don’t think it’s great, and I don’t think it’s worthy of all the attention,” he explains, likening the hype to overplayed Gypsy Kings songs (love the analogy!).

The southern California-produced sriracha, made with jalapeños, “just doesn’t have the depth of flavor” as say, Thai Sriracha, which is spiced with Thai chilies, Zimmern says.

David, the ball is in your court now — what say you? And where do the rest of you hot sauce connoisseurs fall in the sriracha dispute — yay or nay?

—Brooke Showell

WATCH: David Chang and Andrew Zimmern’s Sriracha Food Fight

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