SWEET hot chile peppers.
Nope, we’re not talking about a new rock group.
Sweet hot chile peppers are what happens when you mix high quality i.e. New Mexican chile peppers with sweet ingredients such as sugar or fruit. Or both.
The addition of sweet and hot New Mexico chile condiments can make your “okay” dish taste over-the-top delicious.
If you’re looking for a simple and natural way to bring excitement back to mealtime, read on. The Truck Farm could have just what you need.
What is The Truck Farm?
The Truck Farm is a gourmet food company based in Las Cruces. You find a variety of savory and hot chile sauces and salsas on display at the brightly lit shop on Alameda Avenue in central Las Cruces.
You’ll also find dry mixes for chili, sauces, and salsas in varying degrees of heat tolerance from “gringo” to “pyromaniacs.”
Maybe you’ll recognize the names of these brands: Tia Rita, Cannon’s, Desert Farms Gourmet. All are popular and belong to The Truck Farm. Yet, sweet and spicy chile pepper concoctions are what The Truck Farm does especially well.
The company began in the mid-1990s when Jim Hawman decided to leave the corporate world to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a farmer.
But he had always been a foodie at heart.
That former employer was the food industry giant, Sara Lee. And Jim’s duties there had taken him around the world to places like Cremona, Italy where food is an art and the freshest food is the rule.
This fascination with combining the freshest ingredients for great flavors is what has led Jim to make New Mexico chile products that have won thousands of raving fans.
I’m one of the latest of these fans, now learning to take my favorite foods to the next level with “sweet hots.” Let me tell you what I’ve gleaned about how you can use their sweet and spicy goodies to make your friends raving fans of your cooking.
5 Truck Farm Sweet Hot Chile Peppers & How to Use Them
1) Besito Caliente (Hot Little Kiss)
This combination of blackberries and habanero pepper packs a sweetness that will surprise you. The fruity aroma sure surprised me!
This dessert sauce came into being in 2000, a perfect case of need meeting opportunity. Money was tight all over after the dot.com crash and “Farmer Jim” had an oversupply of blackberries.
So what to do?
Create a blackberry-based sauce versatile and tasty enough to win awards, naturally.
You can use Besito Caliente in a variety of ways. Mix it up with balsamic vinegar for dressing or add it to ketchup to stretch barbecue sauce. Flavor your coffee with it. That’s my cup with Besito Caliente in the featured image, nice change of pace from adding milk or cream.
It’s also yum over ice cream ~ French vanilla ice cream, especially ~ and fresh strawberries.
2) Cherry A’more
The sweet is cherry puree and sugar. The hot is chipotle (smoked dry red jalapeño).
Cherry A’more was among the many potential names suggested by customers who had taste-tested the sauce. Jim Hawman chose that name since it reminded him of the Stevie Wonder hit, Ma Cherie Amour.
Who doesn’t like that song? Clearly, this is a sign we all should try this as a chicken marinade as soon as possible, just as Jim suggests.
3) Sweet Hots
Made with Hatch green chile.
Up until now, I’ve never cared for relish on hot dogs ~ just spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut, thank you very much. Now I like hot dog relish and Sweet Hots is it.
Like fried fish? Try seasoning it with Sweet Hots as I did today instead of tartar or Louisiana red hot sauce. Tastes super on eggs as well, the flavor is smooth and mild, ideal for the “chile wimps” in your life.
You might catch yourself eating spoonfuls directly out of the jar like I’m doing now. (Yes, Sweet Hots are my current favorite!)
4) Red Hots
This one has ingredients similar to the Sweet Hots with one difference ~ they’ve swapped out the Hatch chile for mature, sweet red jalapeños.
Jim likes Red Hots on gorditas. It’s also nice on baked potatoes and eggs.
5) Jalapeño jelly
Spread it on toast and bread just like traditional fruit jellies. Brush it on chicken when grilling. It’s also yum atop cream cheese.
Another thing cool about The Truck Farm’s sweet hots ~ besides the flavors ~are their tell-all labels. “What’s on the label, ” Jim explains, “is exactly what’s in the jar.”
But “the Cherry A’more label lies,” he continues.
Seems it contains natural citrus instead of lemon juice concentrate and preservatives as the label reads. (He already had a large run of labels with old information in stock and didn’t want to waste them.)
That means all of these sweet hot chile pepper condiments are naturally free of gluten AND artificial preservatives. That’s a good deal for us.
Each has a 2-year shelf life unopened and once opened, 8-12 weeks in the fridge once opened, as do other products The Truck Farm sells.
But once you’ve tasted them, I doubt you’ll let any remaining product stay in the refrigerator long enough to spoil.
First off, they taste GOOOOD. Plus, with the all the suggestions covered here and on The Truck Farm website, you’ll never run out of ways to use them.
From Sweet Hots to Jalapeño Jelly to Besito Caliente, you’re going to be cooking up a storm.