But we’re here for the chile crisp, the first and only packaged condiment of its kind—available in the U.S., that is—that deserves a spot on the shelf next to Lao Gan Ma. For the sauce, Gao combines three varieties of Sichuan chiles with Sichuan peppercorns, kombu, and dried mushrooms, all submerged in neutral oil. Those chiles are impressively fragrant, ripe and sweet with bright, acidic heat. The tongue-tingling peppercorns add warm touches of camphor and citrus. And where Lao Gan Ma relies on synthetic MSG for its umami, Gao’s one-two punch of mushrooms and kombu delivers a gentler but richer savory undercurrent. The sauce tastes remarkably homemade for something that isn’t, a testament to the subtle nuances of Sichuan cuisine, which all too frequently gets reduced to a caricature of bludgeoning heat.