Sweet Chili: Why You Should Always Combine Sweet And Spicy

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Sweet chilies, like those found in Lorissa's Kitchen's sweet chili pork premium protein snack, are less spicy and sweeter than other chili varieties. The combo of sweet and spicy balances out, providing a perfect flavor combination for snackers seeking a sweet and savory snack.

Think you can't handle the heat? Think again.

"Sweet peppers lack capsaicin, the component that gives chiles their heat," said Judith Finlayson, author of The Chile Pepper Bible. "Studies show that capsaicin represses our ability to taste bitterness. So if you only have hot flavors in a dish without sweetness to balance, you will lose the beautiful complexity that bitterness brings to a dish."

Sweet chilies have a depth of flavor versus just heat, according to Chef Andrew Fox of The Kessler Collection's Kessler Canyon in DeBeque, Colo.

"Sweetness mitigates heat, so it enables us to appreciate the flavor elements that might be obscured by a high degree of heat," said Finlayson.

Executive Chef Matt McMillen of Bill White Farms in Park City, Utah likes to include sweet and spicy components in his dishes.

"I think this allows you to really enjoy the interplay of these contrasting elements," said McMillen, who offers tips for home chefs who want to experiment with sweet chili.

"Roasting and peeling sweet peppers can be a great way to enhance their subtle sweetness.  It can be a great way to introduce a subtle sweetness to a dish without introducing refined sugars," said McMillen.

Combining sweet and spicy flavors is one of the latest food trends, according to Chef Bill Gideon of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

"When sweet is added to spice, the heat is mitigated allowing the taste of the spice to be better captured and appreciated without burning one's taste buds. When spice is added to sweet, it gives food an unexpected kick," said Gideon.

If you're trying to achieve the perfect sweet and spicy balance at home, Chef Fox recommends "Start out with a little spicy to let it bloom and adjust the sweetness level so you can achieve the right balance for you."

Sweet meats heat combinations are finding their ways into sauces like sriracha, beverages like Mexican hot chocolate and snacks like Lorissa's Kitchen premium protein snack , making it easier to enjoy sweet and spicy foods on-the-go. Lorissa's Kitchen sweet chili pork features just the right amount of cane sugar for perfect sweetness and the freshest chili pepper to keep the heat consistent.