Candied Jalapenos

It remains a mystery who coined the term “cowboy candy”. When did people begin using it to refer to candied jalapeño? I guess a little mystery adds to the excitement of eating this delicious, sweet, spicy, crunchy Texas staple. When it comes to pickled or canned food, top of the list without a doubt is the candied jalapeño. It is delicious and goes well with almost any kind of food!

Candied Jalapenos Trivia

  • A NASA shuttle brought jalapeños to space, making it the first pepper to venture outside the planet.
  • If you love spicy food and nursing a cold, eat jalapeños. It is one of the best sources of vitamin C.

Candied Jalapenos Buying Guide

You can find jars of candied jalapeño in Texas. 

There are numerous options when buying candied jalapeño. We recommend you explore local, artisanal, home-made, small-batch candied jalapeño sold in fairs, markets, or promoted via word-of-mouth from one satisfied customer to a potentially interested jalapeño lover. This is a great way of looking for a specific flavor signature, or if you are just set on sampling various flavors of this food. Check out our listing of artisan food producers below.

Always check the seal and make sure there are no signs of tampering. Commercially-produced candied jalapeños are vulnerable to tampering or damage when mishandled during storage. Damage also happens during shelf-stocking. Check the expiration date indicated on the label. You should also see to it that there is no damage to the bottle’s label. Otherwise, feel free to bring this to the attention of the store owner or seller. Visually inspect the content before purchasing.

Candied Jalapenos Production & Farming in Texas

Texas has a lot of jalapeño growers, from large-scale plantation to backyard gardening. Here are some important reminders when planting jalapeños.  

  • Keep your jalapeño plants indoors until they are 13 weeks old, which is the ideal time for the plant to be transferred outside.
  • Peppers enjoy sunlight and warmth. 
  • Keep the soil fertile. We recommend using mushroom compost or other organic compost.
  • Keep the soil moist, but do not overwater or else, there is the risk of rotting.
  • A healthy jalapeño plant will start to yield in 3 to 4 months.
  • A ripe jalapeño is around 4 to 6 inches long. It changes in color as it ages, from bright green to dark green to black and then red. It is best to harvest jalapeños when they are dark green in color. This is ideal for making candied jalapeños.

Several food companies in Texas produce candied jalapeños. Some businesses source them from farmers or growers. Other businesses depend on their supply and harvest for use in commercial production of candied jalapeño. 

Packaging

Candied jalapeño come in glass or plastic jars with a resealable lid. The label indicates the name of the business that made the item as well as other important information like expiration date, ingredients, nutritional value, etc. They arrive in stores inside bulk boxes. 

Eating Candied Jalapenos

Anyone who loves sweet-spicy foods will enjoy candied jalapeños with any food. Put it on hotdog sandwiches, burgers, or tacos. Mix it with baked beans and soups. Pair it with cream cheese for a perfect cracker topping, or sprinkle it over your favorite pizza for an added twist. Improve the flavor of your dip by adding candied jalapeño and enjoy it with nachos and cheese.

What makes the candied jalapeño really versatile is the fact that it pairs with ice cream and works well in an ice cream recipe. In Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream Book written by Jake Godby, Sean Vahey, and Paolo Lucchesi, candied jalapeño was paired with strawberry to make ice cream. Alice Arndt wrote the book Seasoning Savvy: How to Cook with Herbs, Spices, and Other Flavorings. She wrote: “Try a generous sprinkling of bright green bits of candied jalapeño over chocolate ice cream, and drive your senses wild!”

And after you’ve finished a jar, don’t throw away the syrup. The next time you are grilling meat, use a brush and apply the brine on whatever’s on the grill – pork, beef, chicken, or fish. This will help improve the flavor of the meat. 

Storage

Home-made candied jalapeño that didn’t undergo canning procedure requires refrigeration. They should last for 3 months when kept refrigerated and the lids are sealed after each use. Commercial candied jalapeño can sit on the counter at room temperature unless instructions direct the consumer to do otherwise. 

Cooking

You can cook your own candied jalapeño following these quick easy steps. This way, you can make it less spicy or super spicy depending on how you like it.

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 12 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 6 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the jalapeños into rings. Please make sure to wear gloves. Avoid touching any part of your body. 
  2. Boil the rest of the ingredients together in a pot. Then, simmer for 5 minutes once it comes to a boil.
  3. Add the jalapeño rings and raise the heat to boil, followed by 4 minutes of simmering.
  4. Fill a clean jar with jalapeño rings. Pour the syrup in after. Leave enough space so that the syrup does not spill. 
  5. If you have a pressure canner or follow any canning method, do as instructed. Otherwise, refrigerate the jars once cool.

Nutrition

Jalapeño is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It is a good source of fiber and it has lots of vitamin C.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1/74 Serving from Recipe
  • Calories: 126.7 2.5
  • Carbs: 32.1g 10%
  • Sugar: 31.3g 0
  • Fiber: 0.8g 3%
  • Protein: 0.3g 1%
  • Fat: 0.3g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 491.4mg 20%
  • Vitamin C 5%
  • Vitamin A 10%
  • Calcium 1%
  • Iron 3%
  • Potassium 57.4mg 2%
  • Magnesium 4.4mg 2%
  • Vitamin B6 0.1mg 4%
  • Magnesium 4.4mg 2%

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