Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Giardiniera: The Three Heat Levels

 In general terms, there are three heat levels of giardiniera ...

Mild, Hot, and Extra Hot  (how's that for simple terminology?)

With any kind of giardiniera, the heat comes from the peppers contained in the mix.  Some manufacturers use red pepper flakes to create what we like to call "artificial" heat.  That turns us off because giardiniera is a natural product and in our opinion, it should stay that way.

In any event, mild giardiniera is just that ... mild.  There's no heat from the peppers.

Hot giardiniera gives a slow, low burn kind of heat.  Not too much to make you call the fire department, but enough to jazz up your meals or add a kick to ho hum recipes.

Extra hot, on the other hand, is really hot.  Really hot.  Scotch bonnet peppers are used to make the Extra Hot variety, which as best we know is eaten by those who like stuff so hot they can't taste the food.  Well ... not really ... but Extra Hot ain't kids stuff, let's put it that way.

Our opinion?  Stick with the hot, and use the mild with breakfast dishes, in pasta salads, etc.

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