Monday, January 30, 2017

Sweet Heat - Trending Flavor Combination 2017

The Winter Fancy Food Show always showcases new products but also new flavors and flavor combinations. The combination of sweet and heat has been around for a while, but I saw it in new and different ways this year. Here are some of the most compelling things I tried.
A couple of citrus and chili combinations stood out. Just Jan’s offered Tangerine Sriracha. I’m not a huge Sriracha fan, I find it generally to be a little one dimensional. But this product was layered with a bright tang. Orange cayenne offered a kick to the flavor Tropic Wonder from Revive Kombucha, a somewhat less puckery brand of the fermented beverage. 
Oregon Growers always offers luscious flavors, though still in development, marionberry habanero jam is a winner. Another favorite of mine is The Preservatory based in British Columbia. In the past they have offered Heirloom Tomato with Chile and fruit jams with peppercorn. This year was the tangy and fresh Yellow Plum, Turmeric and Chile preserve. Another outstanding offering in the Mexico pavilion was Ki Gourmet’s Cielo Rojo with blackberry and Morita chili pepper sauce, recommended with cheese, poultry or even beef. The key to the success of this rich and smoky sauce and the other products is the balance of heat and sweet. 

Mango is a popular flavor to combine with chilies, often jalapeño as seen in Krave Jerky's mango jalapeño pork bar (similar to jerky), Wild California's mango jalapeño crisps and Hope Foods latest guacamole, spicy mango. 
While not at the Fancy Food Show, Noosa offers a line of “sweet heat” flavored yogurts including mango sweet chili, raspberry habanero, pineapple jalapeno and my favorite flavors, blackberry serrano. I got a chance to try all of them this past Fall and really enjoyed them. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous I recommend them. They are widely available at supermarkets.