How to Transition to Hotter Tex-Mex Dishes

Posted in Tips

Some people love Tex-Mex food but have trouble handling the spicier stuff like chili peppers. This bothers them because they know that the hotter foods can really add to the taste and overall eating experience of Tex-Mex. So, the question is, how do they get used to eating spicier foods? Here are a few ideas from food experts.

  1. Begin by just using a little bit.

Start out by adding a healthy dose of black pepper to a dish or crushed red pepper flakes. Or you could add a few drops of Tabasco sauce in with your ketchup. Just start with a little bit and get used to that.

  1. Enjoy the flavor.

You know adding a spice is going to make the food hotter. But don’t forget, the spice is supposed to add to the taste as well, so don’t forget to focus on the flavor as you are eating the food, not just the heat. Experiment with the spices to get the best taste – use trial and error to determine how much you need to add for the best flavor. In the beginning, use just one spice at a time to learn the flavor of each before you begin to mix them together.

  1. Turn up the heat – but do it gradually.

You can begin by adding chopped chilis to foods, milder ones such as poblanos and cubanelles. When you get used to those, move up to jalapeños and serranos.

Another technique – which is not for everybody, but one you may want to try – is to once in a while, go heavier on the spices than you normally would to make your mouth burn a little as a way of building up your tolerance.

  1. Keep the spicier stuff as a side dish.

You may be trying to build up your heat tolerance, but others in your family may not be. They may not appreciate the increase in spicier foods. By putting the hotter stuff on the side, everybody gets to take only as much as they want.

  1. Make sure you also have ready foods that counteract the heat.

Dairy products such as milk, sour cream or ice cream are good antidotes to counteract the heat if your mouth starts burning too much. So, keep them handy. Other foods that help to dial back the heat are cilantro and lime.

Here at Mattito’s, we know that not everyone can “stand the heat” – yet. So we’re happy to accommodate everyone’s tolerance for spicy food. Just let your waiter know how “hot” you want it! Visit a Mattito’s location near you soon.