If you like Cinco de Mayo…this hot stuff brings the flavor

Published 7:55 am Monday, April 25, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Maybe you are compelled to sing “If you like Cinco de Mayo” to the tune of “If you like Pina Coladas” each time the season rolls around. I salute you.

This Taco Tuesday fan is ready for the hot stuff mentioned below from Mexican and other cultures.

Holy Mole – Mole is a personal favorite, and I think of all the traditional gathering and grinding of so many components each time I open a modern jar of the paste.

I’ve used the same jar brands for years, as they are easy to access from the market. Now I’ve been exposed to something new that tastes very “ancient,” in the best sense.

Hernan Mole Poblano is based in Del Rio and it comes from a line of pride. The founder’s back story includes fashion, trade and flavor at hernanmexico.com. The succinct part of what I’d like to convey is the ease of preparing what comes from these jars into your pan and forming it into a divine sauce for chicken or whatever else is on your stove.

One version combines four kinds of chiles with raisins, nuts and sesame seeds, cacao, plantains and raw cane sugar. Another has a pumpkin seed focus that is green from epazote and spinach with other earthy flavors. They’ve made a favorite even better.

TWANG – You can take things slow, or you can Twang them. A whole new world of beer salt opened up to me and I am… intrigued. It’s a big dill, as in dill pickle seasoning is trending. That’s just one option.

In addition to Michelada cocktail mixes in several ranges, you can rim your glasses and beer bottle necks with intense salts in lime and unexpected flavors. Twang-A-Rita is a thing.

Paloma Love, Clamato, Safari Spice and other blends would be talked about at your next gathering. Mango Chile Twangers are intriguing topping fruit salads are adorning fruit on the side of mocktails.

Rimming salts make it all look and taste “extra.” I enjoyed some lime salt over popcorn. Do you own Twang. Learn more at twang.com.

Black Garlic – Just get hot for Cinco de Mayo, but you can accent from other cultures. West African peppers go into Hot N Saucy Black Garlic N Peri Peri  sauce.

I love that this pours out in such a deep, dark color you could artistically paint a corner of your plate with it for culinary décor. Maybe sweet potato and habanero is more your thing. These are all my thing. @hotnsaucyco

Smoke + Honey – More heat from other cultures: Rainier Foods is a family business in the shadow of Mt. Rainier and they’ve surprised me.

I’d never have guessed they like the heat as much as we do here in the south. When I heard of combos such as Smokey Honey, Blackberry Smoky Honey, Gochu with roasted garlic and chilis and The Essentials, with sea salt, garlic and pepper, I thought these would match my husband’s passion for Sunday afternoon ribs.

While I learned cook new stuff on Korean Gochugaru chilies, my instinct was right on: the blackberry heat is my fave of faves. Here’s to the heat! Learn more at rainierfoods.com.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie ready for the next Taco Tuesday. Share with her at darraghcastillo@icould.com.