Peppers are hot and spicy. Jelly is sweet and fruity. We all know what these things are alone, and have likely enjoyed them throughout our lives, but funny things happen when people put unlikely things together--a new condiment is born!
Pepper jelly is something that has been around for a few decades now, enjoying it's heyday back in the mid 80's to mid 90's. What it is, in a nutshell is a preserve that is made with peppers, sugar, salt and some type of fruit, and it's all put together with a pectin or vinegar base. What you get is a jelly like texture with a tantalizing mix of sweet and heat together.
Pepper jelly can be used in a wide variety of ways. You can use it as is as a jelly to bring old favourites like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to a whole new level, you can add it to cream cheese to create a spread or a dip and you can even create pepper jelly cheesecakes with it. It can be added to salsas and guacamole to give it a whole new taste and it can even be spread on toast like the regular variety of jelly for a breakfast favourite kicked up a notch.
Pepper jelly comes in a vast array of flavours and levels of hotness depending on which fruit and which type of pepper is used. Anything from the old standby fruits like apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and peaches and more exotic fruits like pineapple can all be made into pepper jelly. Some companies get creative and offer berry medleys and two or three fruit blends for even more flavour.
If you don't want to use this jelly as a jelly, it is strong enough to be diluted and used in drinks and desserts, as a topping sauce for ice cream or cakes or to create unique dipping sauces for cut up fruits. Leftovers are never boring once you have acquired a taste for pepper jelly, as cold ham and chicken are given new life with just a little dab.
No, this isn't a wonder product and it likely won't change your life but it will give your taste buds a kick and bring the extraordinary to the every day. And really, why do you want to stick to strawberry jelly on your toast when you can have pepper jelly that brings it to a whole new level?