Tasty Trend Insight: Sweet Heat
Sriracha and caramel; cayenne and chocolate; ghost pepper and molasses; chilies and honey. If these flavors have your mouth watering, then the sweet heat trend may be inviting your tastebuds out for lunch.
Gone are the days when a simple touch of heat was enough to make a dish stand out. The demand for greater variety in spicy foods is partly driven by a consumer desire to explore more authentic global cuisines and flavors, especially with millennials and Gen Z. These days, the perfect combination of sweetness and heat can take your tastebuds to the next level.
While it may seem like a contradiction, sweet and spicy flavors balance well together to create a unique and delicious combination. If you’re interested in trying a new spice experience at home, check out this delicious recipe using strawberries available year-round.
Spicy Strawberry Chutney with Baked Brie
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 455g California strawberries hulled and quartered
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- Juice of half a fresh lemon
- 65g packed brown sugar
- 80ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 jalapeño peppers, cored and diced
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 cardamom pods partly cracked
- 4 whole cloves
- Optional: red pepper flakes
- Wheel of Brie cheese sized to fit your baking dish
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix strawberries in a medium-sized bowl with white sugar and lemon juice; set aside for up to 3 hours, stirring every 30 mins.
3. In a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, dissolve brown sugar and apple cider vinegar; stir with a wooden spoon.
4. Add jalapeños, red onion, ginger, cardamom and cloves. Stir constantly for 5 to 6 minutes or until onions start browning.
5. Add strawberry mixture (including juice) and reduce heat to medium or medium-low, depending on your burner. Add a pinch or more of red pepper flakes to add extra heat if desired.
6. Stir frequently for 10 minutes or until mixture becomes thick enough to coat a spoon.
7. Meanwhile, scrape off only the top rind of the brie, place in a brie baker or baking dish and bake uncovered for 15 to 17 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and carefully remove cardamom pods and cloves.
9. Spoon spicy strawberry chutney over top of cooked brie and serve with crostini.
Find more sweet heat recipes at californiastrawberries.com.