How to Make Food Less Spicy
Many foodies enjoy a bit of heat in a dish, which brings out flavors and awakens the senses. But what happens if you prepare a meal and find that it’s too spicy? How do you make something less spicy? If your hot sauce ended up with more kick than expected or you were too heavy-handed with the chili peppers in your chili, try the tips below to cool things down before serving your customers.
How to Make Something Less Spicy
It can happen to even the best chef. A dish can end up with more heat than desired, leading to an uncomfortable experience for the customer. We’ve collected the top tips to tone down spicy food when you need it.
Use the following video to learn five different ways to make food less spicy:
1. Add Dairy to Spicy Food
One way to get rid of spicy heat is to cool it down with dairy. The reason why your dish may be spicy is because of the capsaicin in the pepper. Capsaicin is the chemical compound that causes the burning sensation associated with peppers. The stronger the capsaicin, the higher a pepper would rank on the Scoville scale. Dairy products neutralize some of the capsaicin chemical reaction, cooling down foods that may be overly spicy.
If your dish is too hot, try adding some of the following dairy products:
- Sour Cream
- Plain Yogurt
- Greek Yogurt
- Creme Fraiche
- Shredded Cheese (best suited for tomato-based recipes)
Use full-fat dairy for the best results.
If you need non-dairy milk alternatives to cool down your spicy dish, use some of the options below:
- Coconut Milk
- Oat Milk
- Almond Milk
It is important to note that some non-dairy alternatives may have a distinct flavor that may alter the taste of your spicy dish. Coconut milk is the preferred dairy alternative because it complements many Asian dishes while adding a creaminess.
2. Bulk up the Recipe to Dilute the Spice
Similar to how you would fix oversalted foods, you can try to tone down the spiciness of a dish by adding more of your base ingredients. Counteract the heat by increasing the ratio of the other unseasoned items in your recipe, such as protein, starches, vegetables, or broth.
- Protein can help thin out the spicy ingredients as long as they haven’t been preseasoned with the same heat-building ingredients.
- Starches like potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread work to soak up and diffuse spiciness without adding distinct flavors that may alter the recipe.
- Vegetables with a high water content can help dilute some of the heat in your dish. Try adding options like corn, carrots, squash, avocados, peas, and beans to dial back the spice.
- Broth is also a good option if your dish is liquid based. Adding more broth or stock to your recipe can level out the spiciness ratio and make the dish more manageable for customers to enjoy.
3. Sweeten Out the Spice
For some recipes, a touch of honey can help neutralize the intensity of spiciness. Sugar works to counteract the heat caused by capsaicin in peppers so adding a touch of honey or sugar can tone down a spicy dish. The downside is that the sweetness may alter the flavor of your dish so it is best to add a little at a time and taste test it to make sure you maintain a balance between savory and sweet. Sweet ketchup or tomato sauce mixed with a bit of sugar can be a good way to add sweetness with acidity to control the spice levels in tomato-based dishes.
4. Neutralize Spice with Acidity
The reason why most Thai dishes are served with a lemon or lime wedge is because acidity is a great tool to make food less spicy. Acid counteracts the burning caused by chili peppers while adding a tanginess to your dish.
Try adding a splash of these acidic ingredients to cool down the spiciness in your dishes:
5. Use Nut Butter to Reduce the Heat
Depending on the dish, a touch of nut butter can be great to reduce the heat of spiciness. Many Asian dishes, like pad Thai or stir-fries, pair well with nutty flavors. Nut butters can also give your spicy dish a delightfully creamy texture as the fats in them neutralize the burn. This trick works well if you want to cool down chili or stew that has been overly spiced. Be sure to notify your guests and customers if nut butters are present in your dish to protect patrons with nut allergies.
Here are some of the most common nut butters you can use to get rid of spicy heat:
- Peanut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Cashew Butter
If you want to avoid nuts due to an allergy, you can try serving your dish with avocados or guacamole. The fats in avocados work in the same way as the fat in nuts to help soothe the intensity of spicy food.
How to Keep Food from Getting Too Spicy
Avoid the mishap of overly spicy dishes by taking some precautionary measures during the cooking process. The key to a well-balanced dish is to add your heat-building ingredients bit by bit and taste-test it regularly. Fresh peppers can be spicer than more mature peppers, so add them in a few at a time. It is always easier to add more heat than it is to take spicy out of food.
As food cooks, the liquid in it evaporates and any spiciness becomes more concentrated. Taste-testing your dish early and often will help you from over-seasoning it too soon. Once the dish is close to complete, you can add a bit more heat for the perfect finishing touch if you feel it needs a little more kick.
Fixing Spicy Food FAQs
Learn the answers to some of the most common questions when it comes to making something less spicy:
How to Fix Chili That Is Too Spicy
What should you do if you made your chili too spicy? You can start by diluting the recipe with more of the main ingredients, like ground beef or chicken, beans, corn, and tomatoes. Tomato sauce and tomato chunks work as a multi-purpose remedy because the acid in the tomatoes works to actively neutralize some of the spicy sting. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or a good helping of grated cheese to cool down the intensity of the heat. A pinch of sugar or a touch of honey may also be just what your chili dish needs to take the bite out of the heat.
How to Fix Soup That Is Too Spicy
If your batch of soup is too spicy for your guests, try adding more broth or cream, depending on the base of the soup, to dilute the heat. A squirt of lemon or lime juice may also be a solution, as the acidity can help reduce the spiciness. When in doubt, increase the recipe without the heat-bringing the ingredients to achieve a more balanced dish.
What Affects a Food’s Spiciness?
There are a few factors that can make food spicier than expected. Capsaicin is most prevalent in the seeds and ribs of a pepper. To control the intensity of your dish, so you’ll want to remove all of the seeds and as much of the white ribbing as possible. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling peppers to avoid jalapeno hands. Fresher peppers have a higher level of capsaicin than more mature peppers, so they will be spicier when first picked.
As food sits, the capsaicin is slightly absorbed by the other ingredients, diluting its intensity over time. If you’re able, prepare a fresh and less spicy batch of your recipe and store the spicy batch in cold storage to serve the following day. The heat in the dish should be more manageable at that time, but you’ll still want to taste-test it before serving.
Never subject your customers to a mouth-scalding dish again with the help of these cool-down techniques. Whether your serving your spicy dishes with a lemon wedge or a glass of milk, your patrons will appreciate some heat-neutralizing options next time they order your signature multi-pepper meals.
How to Bottle and Sell Your Own Sauce
You can elevate any dish from derivative to decadent with a premium sauce. The consumer trends towards healthy ingredients, global flavors, and sustainable practices created niche markets that sauce makers can tap into. Whether you own a BBQ restaurant and want to sell your house-made barbecue sauce in stores, or you have a killer pepper sauce recipe and want to learn how to bottle and sell your hot sauce, there are business strategies and legal requirements you need to uphold. To help you start your sauce business, we walk you through the steps of how to bottle and sell sauce. Shop All Sauce Packaging Use the following links to learn more about each step of starting a sauce business. Create a Sauce Recipe Write a Business Plan Bottle Your Sauce Labeling Requirements Choose a Sales Forum Produce Your Sauce Price Your Sauce Advertise Your Sauce Sauce Bottling FAQs How to Start a Sauce Business With e-commerce, social media shopping, and small markets, it’s easier than ever to start a sauce business. However, you can’t pour your sauce into a jar and start peddling it on a website. You need to follow food safety guidelines and institute solid business strategies. Transform your sauce recipe into a business with these simple steps. 1. Create a Scalable Recipe If you want to start a sauce business, you probably already have a delicious recipe your friends and family rave about. The question is, can you scale your recipe? In other words, can you produce your sauce in bulk year-round with affordable ingredients while maintaining a consistent flavor? Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your sauce recipe is fit for retail. How long does it take to make a single sauce recipe? If creating a small batch of your sauce is time-consuming, then it isn’t the best recipe for mass production. Are the sauce ingredients expensive? You need to sell your products at prices customers will pay, but you also need to turn a profit. Expensive ingredients make this challenging. Are the ingredients available year-round? You may have a delicious seasonal sauce, but if its ingredients aren’t available year-round, it can’t serve as the backbone of your business. Use our recipe converter to figure out how to make your sauce in bulk. 2. Write a Business Plan Once you have a solid sauce recipe (or several recipes you want to sell under one brand), it’s time to write a business plan for your sauce company. No matter the size of your operation, a business plan allows you to outline goals, projections, and strategies for your sauce company. You can use your business plan to secure financial assistance from banks and investors, and promote your product to local retailers. An effective sauce company business plan includes: Executive Summary - Briefly outline your company’s purpose, products, and goals. Company Description - Provide an in-depth look at your company’s mission, growth projections, and strategies. Concept and Menu - Detail your products and what makes your brand unique. Management and Ownership Structure - Build your sauce business on a firm foundation by creating a well-thought-out ownership structure and management system. Employees and Staffing Needs - Assess how many employees you’ll need to bottle your sauce. Even if you’re the sole employee at the start, consider what your staffing needs will be as your business grows. Marketing and Competitor Analysis - You need to identify who your core customer base is and analyze the competitors in your sphere. Advertising and Marketing Campaigns - Research marketing and advertising strategies and come up with a plan to reach your target demographic. Financials - Determine your initial and ongoing expenses. Create a realistic projection of when you can expect to see a return on your initial investment. Ready to dive in and write a hot sauce business plan? Check out our in-depth business plan guide to get started. 3. Choose Sauce Bottles Knowing your brand, target audience, and baseline finances, you can choose a package that meets your needs. The first thing you’ll need to do is choose sauce bottles. While bottles with interesting angles add visual appeal, we suggest using round-walled bottles. Round-walled bottles provide fewer areas for your sauce to clump up and dry out. You’ll also need to decide between plastic and glass bottles. We explain the benefits of each below, and why glass is preferable for sauce bottling. Plastic vs Glass Sauce Bottles Plastic bottles are cheaper than glass bottles and are usually cold filled, meaning the manufacturer dispenses the sauce into the bottle once it’s cooled. Cold filling saves money on chilling equipment, and it also protects you and your staff from burns. However, unless the manufacturer uses a blast chiller, cold filling exposes your sauce to bacteria. You may have to add flavor-altering chemicals and preservatives to your plastic bottled sauces. If you’re starting a hot sauce business, glass bottles are your only viable option, since peppers are acidic and can dissolve plastic bottles into your hot sauce. Glass bottles are perfect for the hot fill technique, which dispenses sauce at a high temperature. Hot filling prevents bacteria development so you can forgo unhealthful and flavor-altering preservatives. Acidic ingredients won’t break down glass bottles. While they may be more expensive to purchase, fill, and ship, if you’re creating a niche and premium sauce brand, glass bottles suit your product and your target audiences’ expectations. 4. Adhere to FDA Label Requirements Labels serve the dual functions of creating a recognizable brand and providing FDA-required ingredients and nutritional information. Most sauce companies use two separate labels, placing one on the front and the other on the back of their sauce bottles. The official name for the front label is “Principal Display Panel” (PDP). The FDA has specific size and elemental requirements for a product’s PDP. You’ll want to create an attractive logo for your PDP and use it across your products to raise brand loyalty and awareness. The label on the back reveals the ingredients and nutritional information. The law dictates that most packaged foods disclose their ingredients and their nutritional value. You may have to break your sauce down into serving sizes and provide the correlating calories per portion. If your product contains possible allergens such as nuts, gluten, or soy, you will need to identify these ingredients on your label. A freelance food scientist can perform a nutritional analysis and help you meet food labeling requirements. Food certifications and labels can also set your product apart as having increased quality and help you attract your ideal customer base. For example, if you sell Italian goods and you produce, process, and package them in a fixed geographic area following regional methods, you can apply for a DOP label to signify your product’s authenticity. Products that meet the requirements of alternative diet plans such as vegan, gluten-free, and keto can attract people following those diets through their labels. If your product is halal or kosher certified, appropriate labels catch the attention of shoppers looking for kosher or halal goods. What Information Must Be Stated on the Principal Display Panel? The Principal Display Panel (PDP) is the front label on a food product. We explain the FDA’s requirements for PDPs below. Principal Display Panel Size Requirements The size requirements of a PDP vary by its shape. Rectangular Packages PDP Size: Must encompass the entire front of the package. Cylindrical Package PDP Size: Must encompass 40% of the package’s total side area. To arrive at this, multiply your package’s circumference by its height. Miscellaneous Package PDP Size: Must encompass 40% of the package’s surface area. Required Elements on a Principal Display Panel The FDA requires the following elements to appear on the PDP: The common name of the food item The net quantity the package contains FDA Labeling Requirements Review our summary of the standard FDA labeling requirements below: Labels Must Have a Nutrition Facts Chart - The FDA-required Nutrition Facts Chart provides the serving size and the number of calories per serving. The FDA has a specific format for the Nutrition Facts Chart you must follow. Familiarize yourself with the font sizes, order of contents, and placement of the Nutrition Facts Chart. Labels Must Share Every Ingredient the Product Contains - List every ingredient in descending order by weight percentage. Unlisted allergens are the primary reason the FDA requests product recalls. No matter how small the amount, be sure to list the most common allergens, such as peanuts, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, and soybeans. If you make your sauce in a facility exposed to common allergens, you need to disclose this as well, even if your product doesn’t contain the allergens. Nutrition and Health Claims Must be FDA Approved - Before including health claims on your label, submit claims to the FDA and verify that scientific evidence supports your claim. Labels cannot make unbacked promises that the product will affect the normal structure or function in humans. Required Label Information - The FDA requires the following information: total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, dietary fiber, sugars, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. Base nutrient percentages on recommended dietary allowances. Write Nutrition Facts in English - While other languages can appear on labels, the FDA requires manufacturers to print their Nutrition Facts panel in English. Back to Top 5. Decide How You’re Going to Sell Your Sauce If you’re just starting your sauce business, you may assume you can produce your sauce in your home kitchen. While this may be the best strategy while you test your product and grow your brand, it limits where you can sell your sauce. Cottage food laws regulate whether entrepreneurs can produce low-risk foods for sale from their homes. Cottage food laws vary from state to state. They apply to micro businesses with low revenues. Below, we outline the typical ways cottage food businesses can and cannot sell their products. Check with your state and local guidelines to adhere to the cottage food laws in your area. How Do I Sell My Cottage Food Products? From your residence to the consumer Farmer’s markets Flea markets Roadside Stands Where Can't I Sell My Cottage Food Products? Restaurants Stores E-commerce If there are no cottage food laws in your area or you find them too restrictive, use a commissary kitchen to prepare your sauce. Commissary kitchens are rentable commercial kitchens. They allow small businesses to prepare their goods in an FDA-approved kitchen without investing in an expensive facility. If you prepare your sauces in a commissary kitchen, you can sell them in every forum. 6. Production Strategy The ideal production strategy for your sauce business depends on the size and scale of your operation. If you’re creating small batches of your sauce to sell at local markets, you can produce it on your own or with the help of a few employees. If you’re selling to a wide audience on your e-commerce site or grocery stores, consider outsourcing your sauce production to a co-packer. What Is a Co-Packer? A co-packer is an established food manufacturing company that businesses pay to produce their products. Also known as co-manufacturing, co-packers own heavy-duty equipment that streamlines food production. Co-packers either manufacture your product line for you, or they can package your finished product. Most co-packers offer various service packages, so their customers decide how many logistical details they want to handle themselves. For example, one client may pay a co-packer to bottle and package their BBQ sauce. Another customer may only want to pay for bottling and will handle the packaging and shipping themselves. A third customer may have the co-packer handle everything from making their hot sauce to shipping it to their clients. Working with a co-manufacturer is a cost-effective way to bring your product to market without having to build your own manufacturing facility. It also saves labor costs such as wages, benefits, and training. According to a Contract Packaging survey, 85% of respondents believed co-packing effectively cut costs and brought their margins up, and 68% reported increased business flexibility. When Is Your Sauce Company Ready to Partner with a Co-Packer? Given the benefits of co-packing, you may be interested in working with a co-manufacturer from the start. However, co-manufacturing only makes sense for larger operations. Unless you’re selling your sauce in bulk to grocery outlets or selling thousands of units on your e-commerce site, you’re not ready to work with a co-manufacturer. Most co-packers will not work with entrepreneurs. A trial process validates mass-producing a product, and small food businesses typically lack the funds to conduct multiple test runs. Since running experimental production runs and line times can cost thousands of dollars, co-manufacturers work with established food companies that can back the investment. Co-manufacturers don’t advertise their facilities. They use brokers to connect viable clientele to their services. Working with a broker benefits you as well. Brokers make sure the co-packer produces your sauce to your specifications, and they help you establish legal protection in case the co-manufacturer cannot uphold their end of the deal. 7. Determine The Best Price for Your Sauce With the first five steps of starting a sauce business in place, you can generate a profitable price point. To price your sauce, you need to find out what your competitors are charging. If you’re planning to sell a specialty salsa, go into gourmet and natural food stores in your area and look at the prices of competing salsa brands. If you’re interested in mass-producing a product, your co-packer will give you a manufacturing price. With that number in mind, go into retail stores and see if the stated manufacturing price allows you to charge a competitive amount and still earn a profit. If not, you may need to adjust your recipe and use less expensive ingredients. After you browse the aisles, research your competitors’ sales figures to make sure people are paying their asking price. 3 Point Gross Cost Calculation System To figure out how much you should sell your product for, you need to calculate the total cost of producing it. Add together the following three things to calculate your gross production cost: Cost of the materials - packaging, ingredients, shipping materials Labor costs - salaries, benefits, training materials Overhead costs - taxes, rent, insurance, marketing, transportation, and any other fees incurred Pricing Formula Once you know the gross cost of producing your product, you’re ready to plug that number into the pricing formula. To determine the ideal wholesale price for your sauce, multiply your gross cost by 1.5. This will yield the base price for your product if you’re selling it to a store. The store will then multiply that number by 1.5 to generate your product’s retail price. If you’re selling your product directly to your customers, multiply your gross cost by 3 to find its retail price. Average Prices of Common Sauces While a sauce’s sales price varies by its customer base and where it’s sold (ex: e-commerce vs farmer’s market vs supermarket vs gourmet grocery store), we’ve rounded up the average prices for various jarred items to help you get a sense of how much you can charge for your sauce. Average Specialty Hot Sauce Price - The average 8.78 oz. jar of specialty hot sauce costs $5. While some specialty brands cost more than $5, they usually remain under $10 a bottle. Average Specialty BBQ Sauce Price - Most specialty BBQ sauce brands charge .57 cents per oz. Average Chutney Price - On average, chutneys sell for $1.31 an oz. Average Pasta Sauce Price - When you average the prices of specialty and generic pasta sauces, the average pasta sauce costs .66 per oz. Average Specialty Salsa Price - Many specialty salsa brands price their products at .71 cents an oz. 8. Advertise Your Sauce You can have a fantastic recipe, attractive packaging, and competitive prices, but none of that will matter if no one knows about your sauce company. We recommend taking advantage of as many advertising avenues as possible. Discover some of the best ways to advertise your sauce brand below. Social Media Advertising No matter where you’re planning to sell your product, creating a strong social media presence can boost brand loyalty. If you’re planning to sell your wares at local farmer’s markets and festivals, use your social media account to share your location and encourage your followers to find your booth. Having a large social media following makes you a more attractive vendor applicant because event coordinators prefer vendors with large social media followings because they draw crowds. Giveaway Free Samples In the specialty sauce sector, samples are one of the best ways to convert potential customers to paying customers. At events, free samples draw attendees to your booth. Contact local grocery and gourmet markets and ask if you can set up a booth/sample station inside their store. In-store demos are critical for smaller brands that aren’t on shoppers’ grocery lists. Having an on-ground representative allows you to engage prospective clients and explain why your small sauce brand is worth more than a big box brand. You can detail your sauce’s ethical production strategy, local ingredients, and how your cultural heritage influences your sauces. While free samples have changed in the pandemic’s wake, they’re not off-limits. Lather your sauce on crackers, chips, or bread, then place individual portions in sealed condiment containers. Rather than leaving a tray of samples out in the open air, you can opt for a covered display dome, or you can serve guests individually upon request. Create a Website Web presence provides legitimacy. If you’re producing your sauce in a commissary kitchen, you can sell it on your website. You can also use your website to keep customers up to date about new flavor launches, build email lists, and provide coupons. If stores sell your sauces, offer a list of locations where customers can purchase them. If you’re not comfortable building a website, hire a web designer to make sure your website is easy-to-use and visually appealing. If people are searching for a killer hot sauce, you want to make sure they find yours. So, work with a search engine optimization strategist to make sure your website is appearing on the first page of Google search. Attract Media Attention Entering your sauce into a state fair, food competition, or magazine’s “best of” list can provide invaluable exposure for your brand. If you win, you can mention your achievement on your product’s label and use it in your advertising. Offering free samples to food reviewers and social media influencers is a fantastic way to spread awareness of your sauce brand. If they like your product and share it with their following, that will drive sales. Back to Top Bottling Your Own Sauce FAQs Now that you understand the basics of how to start a sauce business, you need the details of how to operate your unique sauce brand. From the nuances of starting a hot sauce business to the gritty details of bottling a sauce for retail, we break down the most frequently asked sauce bottling questions below. How to Start a Hot Sauce Business The largest brands in the hot sauce industry only make up one-third of the sector’s sales, so starting a hot sauce business can be a profitable venture for entrepreneurs. If you start a hot sauce business, your chief competitors will be other small producers rather than big brands like Tabasco. The best way to make yourself stand out in the hot sauce market is to create a niche product. When you make your hot sauce recipe, consider its heat level. While you can promote your product to the micro-market that loves the experience of lasting pain, most consumers won’t enjoy a scalding sauce. Experiment with different heat levels and have test groups provide feedback. You can use the Scoville scale as a guide and play with your pepper sauce’s heat level. If you’re working with extremely hot peppers, you’ll need to wear PPE. The capsaicin in peppers that creates a burning sensation in your mouth can damage your body. Ask yourself what type of heat sensation you want to create. Do you want your hot sauce to flash or linger on the palate? You’ll need to research how the body responds to different peppers. A habanero will immediately produce a burning sensation on the tongue and cling to the back of the mouth. Jalapenos send a heatwave to the tongue and the roof of the mouth before dissipating. How to Bottle and Sell Your Own BBQ Sauce Besides the general steps for how to start a sauce company, there are special considerations for how to bottle and sell your own BBQ sauce. Depending on the types of BBQ sauce you’re selling, you’ll need to choose between the hot and cold packing methods. Hot packing is ideal for acidic sauces, so if you’re selling a vinegar or tomato-based BBQ sauce, this is the packing method for you. If you specialize in Alabama white sauce or Carolina Gold sauce, consider the cold packing method. BBQ sauce companies can market their products directly to barbecue restaurants. While a BBQ joint may have spectacular smoked meat, that doesn’t mean they have a premium sauce to serve it with. Contact local BBQ restaurants and pitch your sauce to them. Becoming the signature barbecue sauce of a local restaurant provides a steady stream of revenue because they will purchase your sauce in bulk. The restaurant may even allow you to sell bottles of your barbecue sauce in their store. How to Get Your Product in Stores To get your product in grocery stores, contact local sellers and ask if you can show your product in their store. Small markets are more receptive to emerging brands than chains. We suggest reaching out to local gourmet, specialty, and organic grocers. Offer the product manager a sampler packet of your sauces so they can decide if they meet their clienteles’ tastes. If they think your product is a good fit for their store, ask to set up a product demonstration booth and provide samples at your booth. In-person stores are not your only option. You can sell your sauce on an online wholesaler’s website. As the largest restaurant supply store, WebstaurantStore is always looking to partner with innovative brands. We can ship your products to 90% of the US in two days and expose millions of visitors to your products each month. You can also hire a specialty food broker. A food broker handles the placement and delivery of food products created and advertised by a small business. They are independent agents who work on commission. Get legal advice before contracting with a food broker. How to Bottle Sauce for Retail Most sauces bottled for retail sale use either the hot fill or cold fill canning process. We explain the differences between these two techniques below. Hot Fill Canning Process The hot fill canning process uses heat to sterilize the food product and the container it’s going into. Manufacturers begin the hot fill process by heating the food product to a temperature between 194- and 203-degrees Fahrenheit. They inject the hot liquid into its packing container and hold both the container and its contents at a high heat temperature for 15-20 seconds. This sterilizes any bacteria that may have clung to the packaging or contaminated the product. The packer leaves the containers to rest until they cool to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. They then seal the packages and leave them to finish cooling. Which products are hot filled? - Acidic products require the hot fill canning process. Examples of hot filled products - vinegar-based sauces, hot sauces, juices, and sodas. Cold Fill Canning Process Wondering what cold packing means? In the past, cold packing meant putting raw food into a jar. When modern manufacturers cold pack food items, they use extreme cold to kill bacteria during its packaging process. They keep the food at low temperatures before they distribute it into the packaging, and they blast the packaging with icy air to sterilize it. Which products are cold filled? - milk or cream-based foods Examples of cold filled products - Alfredo sauce, Alabama white BBQ sauce, bechamel sauce, Bolognese sauce. How to Sell Homemade Sauce To sell homemade sauce out of your residential kitchen, you’ll need to check the cottage food laws in your area. Cottage food laws regulate the sale and production of low-risk foods (such as sauces) from an entrepreneur’s home. In most states, you can sell foods produced under cottage food laws from your residence to the consumer, at farmer’s markets, flea markets, and roadside stands. In most areas, you cannot sell cottage food items to restaurants, stores, or e-commerce applications. Are Nutrition Labels Required to Be on Food Products? The FDA requires a Nutrition Facts label on most food packages. To adhere to the law, labels should have a heading that reads “Nutrition Facts”. The “Nutrition Facts” heading must extend the width of the Nutrition Facts box and have the largest type size in the nutrition label (it must exceed 8-point font, but it doesn’t have to exceed 13-point font). Back to Top Whether you want to start a hot sauce business or bottle BBQ sauce, there is a lot of money to be made in the sauce sector. You can sell your sauces directly to consumers online or sell your sauces at festivals and specialty grocery stores. Since unique sauces are one of the fastest-growing food trends, now is the time to start a sauce company and tap into this expanding market. <aside class="pquote"> <blockquote> The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details. </blockquote> </aside>
What Is Curry and How to Use It
When you think of curry, you may envision a saucy stewed dish on an Indian restaurant’s menu, but is India the origin of curry? We research this aromatic food trend to discover what it is, how it’s made, and what curry varieties exist in the food industry. You may use the following links to navigate through the blog: What Is Curry? What Is Curry Powder? What Is Curry Paste? What Are Curry Leaves? Thai Curry vs Indian Curry Shop All Curry Powders What Is Curry? The word curry doesn’t refer to one dish in particular, but it is a general term used for a stewed meat, tofu, or vegetable dish cooked in a spiced gravy or aromatic sauce, then served on a bed of rice with flatbread. Curry flavor profiles can vary greatly depending on the chef and region, and they can range from mild to very spicy. Types of Curry When you see curry on a menu, most often you’ll find a more specific name for the dish you are ordering. Here are some popular curry dishes you may encounter: Chicken Tikka Masala - marinated chicken with a turmeric, tomato, and yogurt curry sauce over rice (English variation of curry) Butter Chicken - chicken with a buttery tomato cream sauce over rice (Indian variation of curry) Korma - mildly spiced chicken in a sweet creamy sauce with nuts over rice (Pakistani variation of curry) Dhansak - mutton or goat cooked in a lentil and vegetable sauce with a medium heat rating and served over brown rice (Persian variation of curry) Vindaloo - spicy pork marinated in a wine and garlic sauce, served with rice (Portuguese variation of curry) Panang - pork cooked in a red chili pepper and peanut sauce, reduced in coconut milk, and served over brown rice (Thai variation of curry) With all of these variations available, you may be asking “so, where does curry come from?” Keep reading to explore the origin of curry. Curry Origin Curry dishes originated from Indian cuisine, but the term curry was popularized by the British during their rule of India in the 18th century. The English likely became familiar with the term kari, which means sauce in Tamil (a language spoken in India). Although the term was created in the 18th century, sauce-based dishes are thought to have existed in India as early as 2500 BCE. The popularity of curry dishes spread around the world as the English created spice combinations to mimic the dishes they found in India and shared with other nations through trade routes and the Silk Route. Curry Nutrition Because curries recipes vary, their nutritional value will differ from each other. However, most curries share similar exotic spices and blends and many depend heavily on turmeric, coriander, and cumin. These spices have high anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. Curries are also great sources of vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and fiber. Back to Top What Is Curry Powder? Curry powder is a blend of spices using ingredients typically found in Indian cooking. Curry spice blends were created by the British looking to bring the flavors of Indian cuisine back to England. Curry powders are most commonly used to make Tikka Masala, an English curry, but are generally not used in India. You can also find curry powder in the form of curry roux cubes, which are typically used in Japanese curries like kare raisu. What Is Curry Powder Made Of? These are the common spices used in curry powder blends: Turmeric Coriander Cumin Ginger Cloves Black Pepper Garlic Cinnamon Saffron Mustard Seed Fennel Variations and nuances may occur depending on where the curry powder is sourced. Curry Powder Shelf Life The shelf life of curry powder is 3-4 years when stored in a cool, dark place. Over time, the blend will lose its fragrance and potency. Curry powders found in supermarkets may have been sitting on the shelf for some time and may not be the freshest at time of purchase. You may make your own curry powders by grinding fresh herbs and spices for the richest flavors. How to Use Curry Powder When cooking with curry powder, you’ll want to heat the spices first to bring out the rich aromas and flavors before adding your protein. Heat oil on a medium heat in a pan. Add chopped onion and salt to the heated oil until onions are golden. Add ginger, garlic, and chopped tomatoes until the ingredients start to caramelize. Add the curry powders into the pan and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, stir continuously. Add your protein and coat it in the curry. Saute for 1-2 minutes on a low heat with the lid on. Uncover and add water to create the sauce. Cover and let the dish simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream or yogurt and mix on a low heat (optional). Serve over rice. You can use curry powders to make traditional sauce-filled dishes, but you can also incorporate it into other recipes. Sprinkle curry powder on vegetables, popcorn, or deviled eggs for a flavorful twist. Use curry powder to season warm soups, or create a rich marinade for meats that will have your guests coming back for seconds. What Is Curry Paste? Curry paste is a flavorful puree made from spices mashed with chili peppers and galangal (a tropical root plant similar to ginger) that is used as the base ingredient in various curry dishes. Curry paste is usually used in Thai dishes instead of Indian-style dishes. Curry pastes come in various colors depending on the chili pepper used in their preparation, which tends to make them quite spicy. The most common curry pastes that you’ll find in a grocery store are red curry paste, yellow curry paste, and green curry paste. What Is Curry Paste Made Of? There can be slight variations to the ingredients used in a curry paste depending on the curry color and brand. Here are the common ingredients found in curry paste: Chili peppers (red, yellow, or green) Galangal Tomato Puree Lemongrass Ginger Turmeric Paprika Cinnamon Coriander Cumin Vinegar How to Use Curry Paste In South Asian cuisine, curry pastes are typically sauteed with oil and thinned using coconut milk. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Season your protein and add it to the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add your curry paste and ginger and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, reduce the heat to medium-low. Bring the dish to a boil, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes or until the broth has reached desired thickness. Add desired vegetables, coating them in the sauce, and cook for another 2-3 minutes to allow them to soften. Removed from heat and garnish with cilantro and lime. Serve over rice. Along with stews and curries, you can also use curry pastes to make a salad dressing with yogurt or mayonnaise. Use it as a marinade for chicken, beef, and seafood to add a bold flavor to your menu. You can even prepare a vegan Thai curry with plant-based meat alternatives like tofu to accommodate vegans and vegetarians in your restaurant. Curry Paste vs Curry Powder The main difference between curry powder and curry paste is that curry powder is a dry ingredient that must have oil and water added to it, whereas curry paste is a wet concentrated ingredient that needs to be diluted in the cooking process. Curry paste uses whole chili peppers, while curry powder usually does not contain any chili, making the heat level in curry paste more intense than that of curry powder. Curry paste is not a substitute for curry powder or vice versa. Curry paste is ideal for Thai-style curries but the flavor profile does not match what is expected of an Indian-style curry. What Are Curry Leaves? Curry leaves are glossy green leaves that are typically used in curry dishes in the same way a chef might use bay leaves to add additional aroma and flavor to a dish. They come from curry trees, which are part of the citrus fruit family and feature a strong warming scent. Curry leaves are traditionally fried in oil to release the flavor and added to a curry sauce to simmer with the dish. Back to Top Thai Curry vs Indian Curry The main difference between Thai curry and Indian curry is that while Indian curries typically use a spice blend that is diluted with water and occasionally yogurt, Thai curries use curry paste that is diluted with coconut milk. Indian curries depend highly on turmeric and coriander, whereas Thai curries depend heavily on chili peppers. Thai curries usually feature more heat and a creamy consistency, while Indian curries are highly savory and more soup-like, closer to the consistency of hot sauce. Types of Thai Curry When you see curry colors listed on a menu, you are most likely encountering a version of Thai curries. The following is a list of the most popular types of Thai curry: Green Curry Red Curry Yellow Curry Panang Masam Sour Curry Below, we identify the difference between the three curry colors: What Is Green Curry? Green curry is a spicy stewed dish made by combining green curry paste with a protein or vegetable, and it is considered to be the most popular variation of Thai curry. Green curry is also the hottest of the curry colors. Green curry paste (kreung gaeng keo wahn) gets its vibrant green color from fresh green chili peppers, fresh cilantro, makrut lime leaves and peels, and basil. It usually also features lemon grass, shrimp paste, garlic, and peppercorn among its ingredients. It is typically served with beef or chicken. What Is Red Curry? Red curry is a medium sauce-based dish made by combining red curry paste with a protein or vegetable and it is considered to be one of the most versatile of the Thai curries. Red curry features a medium heat level, which can be boosted with chilies or mellowed with tomato paste. Red curry paste (kreung gaeng phet daeng) gets its bold red color from dried long red chili peppers, shrimp paste, and fresh turmeric. Among its ingredients list, you’ll also find cilantro root, coriander, cumin, lemon grass, and galangal. It is generally served with chicken, duck, or shrimp. Red Curry vs Green Curry Red curry is made from dried long red chilies and is milder in heat compared to green curry, which is made from green chilies and tends to be the hottest of the Thai curries. Green curry is the most popular in Thailand, while red curry paste is used in a greater variety of dishes. What Is Yellow Curry? Yellow curry is a mellow Thai stewed dish made from yellow curry paste that most closely resembles an Indian-style curry. Because of its resemblance to the Indian dish and its mild heat rating, yellow curry is a dish most commonly found on international restaurant menus. Yellow curry paste (nam prik gaeng karee) features a sweet flavor and soothing pale yellow color that comes from turmeric and yellow chili peppers. Other ingredients include coriander seed, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, cumin, and shallots. It is normally served with chicken or fish. Back to Top Increase your restaurant’s spice library by adding some curry options to your menu. Your customers will appreciate the warming flavors provided by these cultural dishes regardless of which recipe and style you choose.
Traditional Hispanic Food
Hispanic cuisine has become increasingly popular among Americans, capturing their hearts and appearing on menus across the nation. Dishes like tacos, quesadillas, tres leches cake, and margaritas are classic crowd favorites. However, amidst this widespread appreciation, there are still numerous authentic Hispanic dishes that may not be as familiar to you. To pay homage to the diverse culture and heritage of Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, consider celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month in your restaurant with some of these traditional Hispanic foods! Shop All Hispanic Foods When Is Hispanic Heritage Month? Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, 2023, and lasts until October 15, 2023. The reason Hispanic Heritage Month begins in the middle of the month is because September 15 holds cultural significance for five Latin American countries. It's the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Hispanic Food List Check out our list of popular Hispanic foods! Any of these dishes would make a tasty addition to your menu during Hispanic Heritage Month. 1. Tortilla Espanola Tortilla Espanola is a classic dish that is beloved throughout Spain. The name translates to "Spanish tortilla," but you'll also hear the dish referred to as a Spanish omelet or potato omelet. No matter what it's called, this combination of eggs, potatoes, and onions is easy to prepare and can be served any time of day. A traditional tortilla Espanola is made with a filling of thinly sliced potatoes and sauteed onions enveloped by fluffy, beaten eggs. Some Spanish omelets are thin, and some are thick and dense. There are many interpretations of the dish, which can be enjoyed hot or cold. Tortilla Espanola is served tapas style, a snack, or even a main entree. 2. Empanadas Empanadas are pastry shells stuffed with fillings and baked or fried to golden perfection. These crescent-shaped hand pies can be filled with a variety of savory ingredients or sweet fillings. In Argentina, empanadas are made with a flour-based dough and filled with meats mixed with peppers, onions, or olives. But in Belize, empanadas are made with a corn dough called masa and filled with beans, fish, or chicken. Every country and region has a unique take on preparing empanadas, which is why this dish is so versatile. To make an empanada, lay out a flattened round of dough and place a spoonful of filling on one side. Fold the dough over the stuffing and crimp the edges. Bake or fry the pastry pocket to yield a slightly crispy, flaky outer layer and a soft interior. 3. Arepa Arepas are unleavened cornmeal cakes that are fried, baked, or grilled. They can be served whole and topped with melted cheese and salsa fresca, but one of our favorite ways to prepare arepas is to split them open and fill them like sandwiches. You'll see authentic arepas paired with a variety of toppings like cheese, cuajada (milk curds), beans, meat, or avocado.Arepas originated in the pre-Colombian northern region of South America, which is present-day Venezuela and Colombia. Today, these simple but delicious corn cakes are a household tradition throughout Colombia and are eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 4. Tajadas Tajadas are fried ripe plantains that can be served as a dessert, a side dish with rice, or with entrees like pork or fried chicken. Fried plantains are a traditional Hispanic food enjoyed in many countries, including Colombia, Honduras, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. In Cuba, sweet plantains are called maduros.The key to making tajadas is to use ripe plantains. Green plantains are a staple food of Latin America and the Caribbean, but to make this sweet dish, the plantains need to be ripened until the skin is black. As the plantain ripens, the flesh becomes tender and sweet. To prepare traditional tajadas, cut the ripened plantain on the bias (diagonally) to create long slices. 5. Gallo Pinto Gallo pinto is the Central American version of rice and beans. These two ingredients are featured in Hispanic cuisine throughout the world, but gallo pinto is a staple of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan cuisine. It's so beloved that it's the national dish of both countries! The word gallo pinto translates to "spotted rooster" and describes the speckled appearance of beans mixed with rice. Every region has its own take on the dish, but the classic combination includes white rice, beans, onions, peppers, and spices. In Costa Rica, it's usually served with a spiced brown sauce called salsa lizano. 6. Tacos Tacos are beloved all over the world and are one of America's favorite comfort foods. Authentic Mexican tacos were made with pressed soft-shell corn tortillas and are best eaten immediately. The hard taco shell was invented in the 1940s to create a more portable version of the taco that kept longer. This iconic street food can be fused into all types of cuisine for any menu. Serve traditional varieties like tacos al pastor (marinated sliced pork) or tacos de barbacoa (shredded beef, lamb, or goat) or go meatless with vegan alternatives such as jackfruit or tempeh. Add a unique spin to your menu with options like grilled tuna tacos or kimchi tacos. Stuff your tacos with cheese and sour cream or keep it simple and authentic with simple, fresh ingredients. 7. Stuffed Peppers Stuffed peppers are popular all around the world, including Hispanic countries such as Spain and Mexico. The dish usually consists of a hollowed-out or halved pepper stuffed with fillings like meat, rice, and vegetables. Once filled, the peppers are cooked and sometimes topped with cheese or sauces.In Spain, "pimientos rellenos" are bell peppers filled with chicken and Manchego cheese. Mexican stuffed peppers, called chile rellenos, are roasted poblano peppers stuffed with melted cheese (Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca) along with a mixture of pork or red meat, raisins, and spices. Stuffed peppers may also be covered in "salsa roja," or red sauce. 8. Elote Corn Elote is a Mexican street food made with fresh, grilled corn on the cob. The corn cobs are charred over an open grill and coated with mayonnaise and Mexican crema (sour cream). Next comes a sprinkling of Tajin seasoning, followed by fresh cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese. The elote is finished off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. When you deconstruct elote and remove the corn from the cob, you get another tasty Mexican street food called esquites. This "street corn in a cup" is less messy than elote and features all the same salty, smokey flavors. For the most authentic street corn, use Mexican white corn, not sweet corn. 9. Mole Mole is a Mexican chili sauce that is usually served over chicken, seafood, or turkey. Though it can take many different forms, it’s always made with fruit, chili peppers, herbs and spices (such as garlic, cumin, coriander, anise, cloves), and sometimes chocolate. Mole can be time-consuming to make, but the rich flavors make it more than worth it! Mole (pronounced mow-lay) sauce has a rich history in Mexico and is an important component of the popular dish, mole poblano. The word mole translates to "sauce" and comes from the native language Nahuatl, which was spoken by the Aztecs and is still used in parts of Mexico today. 10. Paella Paella is a fragrant rice-based dish made with meat or seafood, vegetables, and saffron, which gives the dish its signature yellow hue. Ingredients in a Spanish paella will vary by region, but one thing is certain - authentic paella is made in a traditional paella pan. Spanish paella is the dish that inspired the creation of Louisiana jambalaya which can be found in Cajun and Creole styles. A paella pan is a wide, shallow frying pan that provides a large surface for the rice and ingredients to be tossed for even cooking. The secret to the perfect paella is to lightly toast the rice on the bottom without burning it. This creates a crispy shell nicknamed "Valencian caviar." 11. Ceviche Ceviche is a seafood dish that is popular in Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, and other Pacific coastal regions of Latin America. Consisting of fresh raw fish, citrus juice, chopped onions, salt, and cilantro, ceviche is a refreshing, sweet-savory dish. Ceviche recipes vary slightly by location. This Hispanic dish might feature shrimp, or it could take the form of a ceviche "cocktail," which is popular in Mexico. "Vuelve a La Vida" is a well-known Veracruzan dish, which is a ceviche cocktail of oysters, octopus, fish, clams, and any other available seafood. Ceviche cocktails are usually served in cocktail glasses and may come with tostadas and avocado. 12. Flan Flan is a custard with a gelatin-like consistency and may also go by the name "creme caramel" or "pudim" (Portuguese). Essentially a baked custard, flan is usually made of eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. You may find a Mexican flan covered in dulce de leche, a sweet caramel syrup, while a Spanish flan may have a layer of caramelized sugar on the bottom. The origins of this popular dessert go back to the Roman Empire. Different variations of the custard were adopted across Europe, and Spanish conquistadors brought the recipe to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. 13. Arroz con Leche Arroz con leche, translating to "rice with milk," is a creamy rice pudding made with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. You'll sometimes see the addition of orange or lemon peel for extra flavor. Believed to have Moorish origins, arroz con leche is enjoyed throughout Spain and Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. In Colombia, arroz con leche may feature grated coconut, and cloves might be added in Peru. Many Hispanic households have their own recipe for arroz con leche that has been passed down through the years. 14. Tres Leches Cake Tres leches (three milks) cake consists of a sponge cake or butter cake soaked in three different types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. After the sheet cake is baked and cooled, holes are poked into the top with a skewer, and the milk mixture is poured over the top. The fluffy sponge absorbs the milk and cream, yielding a moist, rich cake. Tres leches cake is popular throughout Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and many other Latin American countries. In Mexico, tres leches cake is served at weddings, birthdays, and other celebratory events. 15. Churros Churros are long, sweet fried-dough pastries that are normally served with a dipping sauce of chocolate or dulce de leche. A popular street food, churros are also served for breakfast or as a dessert at sit-down restaurants. Churros are enjoyed throughout Hispanic- and Portuguese-speaking countries, including Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina. Churro vendors, called churrerias, specialize in this tasty treat. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, churros are coated in cinnamon sugar and are best served warm! 16. Bunuelos Bunuelos are a fried dough fritter, or type of donut, that is shaped into a ball or a flattened disk and covered with cinnamon and sugar. Perfect as a snack or dessert, bunuelos are a simple, tasty treat that's enjoyed throughout Spain and Latin American countries. Each country has its own take on bunuelos. In Mexico, anise is added to the dough and the fritters are served with a warm sugar cane syrup. The bunuelos in Uruguay and Argentina are also called banana fritters and are considered a special rainy-day treat. Colombian bunuelos are dough balls containing white cheese curd, served with custard as a traditional Christmas dessert. 17. Margarita The margarita is a classic cocktail made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. It's served in a signature margarita glass with a salted rim. Margaritas can be customized for each customer, making them perfect for any happy hour menu. Serve it with salt, sugar, and fruit flavors, or blend it into a frozen drink. You can even try a variation like the Coronarita, which combines the cocktail with the Mexican beer Corona. Some believe the margarita evolved from a Mexican cocktail called the Tequila Daisy. This tequila-based cocktail had similar ingredients, and margarita translates to "daisy" in Spanish. The margarita is now one of the most popular cocktails of all time. Need a non-alcoholic option for your menu? Try serving mangonadas for Hispanic Heritage Month! Hispanic food represents rich cultures from many different countries, and a large portion of the American population is from Spanish-speaking cultures. Many traditional meals can be prepared as they have always been, or adapted to incorporate your own preferences. To celebrate this Hispanic Heritage Month, consider incorporating some traditional food into your restaurant’s menu.