How to Turn Up the Heat Without Ruining the Taste

by Maisie

If you’re experimental with cooking, you’ll know that every spice doesn’t go with every meal. Most amateurs know, for example, that too much sage on chicken can make it taste horrible. If you’re looking to make a meal spicier, you may be wondering what is safe to use on most meals. Here are some ingredients that will turn up the heat on a variety of dishes without ruining the taste. 

1. Cumin

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the Irano-Turanian Region. Its seeds – each one contained within a fruit, which is dried – are used in the cuisines of many cultures in both whole and ground form. Rich and hearty, earthy and warm, with an edge of citrus, Cumin adds instant depth to any dish. Use ground Cumin rather than whole Cumin seed in recipes where you want the flavor to disperse evenly throughout.

2. Dried Chile Peppers

Chili peppers, from Nahuatl chīlli, are varieties of the berry-fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family Solanaceae, cultivated for their pungency. Chili peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add “heat” to dishes.  They can blend seamlessly into soups, stews, chili and tomato sauce. Use them to supplement, or star in, a meat or fish marinade. Peter Bouchier cretified free range pork mince.

3. Red Pepper Flakes

Crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes is a condiment or spice consisting of dried and crushed (as opposed to ground) red chili peppers. Adding red peppers to a dish at the beginning of cooking will give the entire dish some heat, while adding them at the end will give it a subtly (and slightly fruity) spicy edge.

4. Tabasco Sauce

Tabasco is an American brand of hot sauce made from vinegar, tabasco peppers, and salt. abasco sauce is widely used to season a variety of foods, such as sandwiches, salads, burgers, pasta, French fries, cheese fries, pizza, and even mashed potatoes. In almost all these dishes, the sauce can be added on top or added to the dish while cooking itself.

5. Sriracha

Sriracha is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It can be used as a marinade for grilled chicken or ribs, spread on grilled fish, tossed with tofu and then baked, stirred into mash potatoes, poured over pizza, and much, much more. 

6. Cayenne Pepper

The cayenne pepper is a type of Capsicum annuum. It is usually a moderately hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes. Cayenne pepper is widely used in Mexican, Asian, Indian, and Southern cooking, among others. Just a pinch adds a sweet-spicy heat to an entire pot of beans, enchilada sauce, fried chicken, or even mac n’ cheese. It also adds a nice kick to egg dishes and dry-rubs for meat and seafood.

7. Pepper Jelly

Pepper jelly is a preserve made with peppers, sugar, and salt in a pectin or vinegar base. The product, which rose in popularity in the United States from the 1980s to mid-1990s, can be described as a piquant mix of sweetness and heat, and is used for meats and as an ingredient in various food preparations. If you want to know where to buy pepper jelly, you can try

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