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How Far Can Dexter Holland's Gringo Bandito Go?

What started as a gag gift by the Offspring singer is becoming a serious business

Holland still can’t believe Gringo Bandito’s run. “I’m very surprised,” he says. “It feels like ‘Come Out and Play’ did when it was going big. We’re hearing a lot of great things from people. It feels like it’s something happening, and that’s really cool.”

The immediate goal for this year: break even. Last year, Holland stopped giving away bottles to restaurants and began charging; most continue to carry it because of consumer demand. “It’s nice to have a hobby, but it’s nicer if it can turn a profit,” he says. “I probably should’ve started a clothing company, something that made more sense. I should’ve picked something that sells for more than two bucks per bottle. But we do it because we love it. It’s just fun.”

He pauses. The pupusa is almost done. He still needs to return to the Gringo Bandito office for a couple of more hours of work. “I never thought I’d be looking at those things that control the flow of salsa—they’re called reducers—for a living and saying, ‘How can I make the hole size right?’”

Chapman Baehler
Nice work you did: Arriaga deseeds peppers at Da'Kine Kitchen
Chapman Baehler
Nice work you did: Arriaga deseeds peppers at Da'Kine Kitchen

“My nephews in Mexico say, ‘Gringos don’t eat chile,’” Arriaga says. “Oh, this one does.”

garellano@ocweekly.com

This article appeared in print as "Hot Licks: What started as a gag gift by the Offspring singer Dexter Holland is becoming a serious business. How far can his Gringo Bandito hot sauce go?"
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