Honey Is Just The Right Ingredient To Mellow Out Spicy Salsa

Salsa with tortilla chips
Salsa with tortilla chips - Drong/Getty Images

Whether you're eating out at your favorite Mexican food restaurant or preparing a Tex-Mex meal for the whole family, salsa is an integral part of the experience. Equal parts spicy and zesty, this versatile condiment is the perfect companion to your favorite Mexican meals. But sometimes, whether we make it ourselves or run into it by chance, a batch of salsa is just too spicy for our tastebuds. Luckily, there's one easy solution for remedying a too-hot salsa -- cutting the fire with honey.

Honey's natural sweetness, combined with its intricate flavor profile which includes floral, fruity, and sometimes even earthy undertones, makes it an ideal choice for taming the heat of peppery salsa. This bee-made sweetener not only balances the salsa's spiciness but also enhances its overall taste, giving it a subtle new dimension of flavor.

Adding this liquid sweetener to your salsa is as easy as stirring in a drizzle or giving it a quick pulse in a blender or food processor. Add the honey gradually and taste as you go to ensure you strike a proper balance. After all, you don't want sweet salsa, just a batch that's not painfully spicy.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

Honey Versus Other Common Sweeteners

Honey in jar
Honey in jar - Alex Desanshe/Shutterstock

The science is simple -- if a dish is too spicy, add something sweet. But what makes honey the superior option for cutting the fire in a bowl of salsa versus other sweeteners? While table sugar, maple syrup, and agave nectar can be substituted for this simple kitchen remedy, honey is our top choice.

Honey is a natural sweetener that doesn't include any added table sugars -- perfect if you're watching your sugar intake. Plus, it's also a low-glycemic sweetener, which makes it a spice-curbing ingredient that's accessible to those living with diabetes and those who monitor their blood sugar. Honey's thick and syrupy consistency can help bind the ingredients in the salsa and improve its texture, whereas table sugar can leave your salsa tainted with a grainy texture, especially if the salsa has been refrigerated.

When it comes to other syrupy sweeteners, honey imparts a flavor profile to your salsa that sits well with just about any salsa-topped or infused dish, while maple syrup has a pronounced maple aroma that isn't as versatile or suitable for salsa-centric meals. If you want a milder sweetener, agave might be a good choice, but we like honey for its vibrant but never overwhelming flavor palate that complements the peppers, tomatoes, and herbs commonly used in salsa.

How To Avoid Making Too-Hot Salsa

Salsa bowl surrounded by jalapenos
Salsa bowl surrounded by jalapenos - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

If you don't want to end up in a sticky situation that requires you to use honey in your favorite salsa recipe, there are proactive steps you can take to avoid an unbearably spicy bowl of salsa.

The key to avoiding a too-hot salsa is to have a good understanding of the heat level of the chili peppers you're using. If you want a mild salsa, select mellow peppers like Anaheim, poblano, or bell peppers and gradually introduce spicier varieties like jalapeños or habaneros, being sure to taste the salsa as you go to ensure that you're not overdoing it. Removing the seeds and membranes from the peppers can also help reduce their spiciness, making ultra-fiery varieties more accessible to the average tastebuds.

A great batch of salsa boasts a well-balanced tapestry of flavor profiles, so be sure to add in acids like vinegar or citrus juice to counter the fire of the peppers, and don't forget salt to bring out all of the unique, complex flavors in your salsa -- not just the heat.

Although there are ways to prevent overly spicy batches of salsa, sometimes we just get a little carried away. But where there is honey, there is a solution!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.