When it comes to the world of the culinary arts, there are a variety of combinations that seem like they were always perfect for one another. This isn’t by accident; combinations of certain flavors pair exceptionally well because of the receptors in our brain and the amplification found in our sense of taste.  Decoding the sensory experience proves that there is indeed a science behind flavor and taste. Today, we explore this subject material in the form of sweet and spicy foods. Bon Appetite! 

snacks for bar

Sense of Taste & The Process of Flavor 

It might interest you to know that all five senses help determine flavor. The experience of our senses and the flavors we enjoy while eating is known as retro nasal olfaction. More than taste, our sense of smell helps identify certain flavors. Even our sense of sight allows our brain to identify the flavorings of certain food when we first come into contact with them. 

The Science of Sweet & Spicy 

Any historian will tell you that many cultures have been blending flavors together for centuries. One of the oldest combinations of sweetness and spice can be traced back to the Aztecs, who combined peppers and chocolate together to form xocoatl. The combination of sweet and spicy is processed with two unique flavor receptors that have very different jobs. The spice actually binds our tastebuds, with the sweetness balancing out the initial shock from the pepper. 

The Zen of Balance Between Sweet & Spicy 

When it comes to achieving the perfect compromise between sweet and spicy, it’s a delicate balance that needs to be just right. If you’re a newcomer to the world of spicy foods, sweet and spicy combinations can be one of the best ways to adjust your palate. An example of balancing the sweet and the spicy can be found in a cocktail such as jalapeño, mango, and passion fruit. A jalapeno margarita is another perfect example—with the cool mezcal and sugary rim balancing out the jalapeño flavor of the drink itself. 

Sweet and Spicy Pretzels from Boardwalk Food Co. 

At Boardwalk, we specialize in a combination that millions have long been waiting for. Our craft beer-inspired pretzels are perfect for any brewery looking to merge an endless number of flavor combinations. For our products and information to order them wholesale, visit us at boardwalkfoodco.com.

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