Tomatoes and habanero peppers make a flavorful marriage in the culinary world. Tomatoes can be acidic but also sweet and sometimes tangy. While habanero peppers are known to be very hot, these peppers have crunchy textures and are bursting with sweet and fruity notes. Like tomatoes, habaneros develop flavors as they ripen. Unripe habaneros have earthier flavors while the mature ones have sweeter, spicier, and tangier flavors.
Tomato Habanero Jelly Trivia
- Of course, some people think that tomatoes are vegetables because they’re commonly used in savory dishes, but tomatoes are actually fruits. But in the culinary world, tomatoes will always be a component of vegetable salads but never that of fruit salads.
- Tomatoes are great for maintaining one’s health. They are rich in lycopene and antioxidants which battle cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
- Finally, tomatoes are excellent in skincare routines. Tomato masks, gels, peels, and serums transform and restore the glow of the skin.
Tomato Habanero Jelly Buying Guide
Tomato habanero jellies can be found in the condiments, jams, and jellies section of any supermarket, groceries, and even convenience store. Several food processing companies have their distinct flavors combinations in making apple jellies. Others like it a bit tart and sour while some have deeper flavors and a more pungent aroma.
In buying tomato habanero jelly, look at how natural the color of the jelly is. It should resemble the natural look of tomatoes and habanero peppers but without the impurities since commercial companies would like their products to be perfectly presented.
Despite these, there are several non-commercial producers including your local, artisan producers, and small and medium enterprises that produce tomato habanero jellies in small batches to maintain quality. These micro and medium businesses take pride in using the freshest ingredients, using the traditional methods, and often eliminating food additives and chemicals to preserve their crafts.
There are also organic food fairs, farmer’s markets, and food festivals connecting artisan producers and customers, so be sure to visit any of these venues.
Tomato Habanero Jelly Production & Farming in Texas
Tomatoes thrive in sunny regions where they can have access to sunlight almost for the entire year. This is the reason why tomatoes are easily grown in the tropics. The warm conditions of spring are perfect for planting tomatoes because they grow between 21-29°C. If tomatoes are planted in cooler regions, then it’s best to plant them from summer to spring spanning October onwards.
Texas gardeners can cultivate small fruit and large fruit tomatoes. Small fruit tomatoes include Baxter’s early Bush, Red Cherry, Cherry Grande, Small Fry, and Juliet. Meanwhile, Large Fruit tomatoes include Celebrity, Big Beef, Carnival, Homestead, Bush Beefsteak, Big Box, and Better Boy.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Pectin is the most common ingredient for jellies, jams, and preserves. Without pectin, jams and jellies won’t have a gel-like consistency. It is such an essential ingredient to achieve that gelatinous texture. However, pectin can be a dangerous ingredient for those suffering from food allergies. Most people with nut allergies also have pectin allergies. When consumed, pectin can trigger asthma and hives, severe allergic reactions can even lead to anaphylaxis. So do inform your consumers about this potentially harmful component.
Home-made tomato habanero jelly should be stored in sterilized glass jars. This is essential because glass jars are the best way to preserve their quality and lengthen their shelf-life. Glass jars are also easier to clean and you can re-use them in some other ways after finishing the tomato habanero jelly.
When using glass jars, always check if there are cracks or chipped edges. If you can find any or both of these anomalies, then immediately discard the glass jars. Don’t even think of salvaging them for another use. Remember that food safety and consumer health are vital in food production. Only use clean jars in good condition in the making of apple jelly.
Some tomato habanero jellies are packaged in plastic cups. While that may be an easier option, since you can just discard the packaging after consuming all the tomato habanero jellies, we don’t recommend it since single-use plastic pollutes the environment. tomato habanero jellies packaged using plastic also tend to have a chemical aroma and taste from the plastic packaging. That’s too unpleasant for the deliciously aromatic and naturally sweet, spicy, and tangy tomato habanero jellies.
Enjoying Tomato Habanero Jelly
Tomato habanero jellies are great for breakfast, although most people might have never thought about this. Add tomato habanero jellies to your grilled cheese sandwich; fry some bacon and when the bacon is almost cooked, mix a dollop of the tomato habanero jelly. Make some gutsy salad dressing using tomato habanero jellies to add some sweet and spicy flavors to your lovely, fresh greens.
Store the tomato habanero jellies the way you would store other preserves such as jams and jellies. If you have purchased commercially produced tomato habanero jellies, then the unopened cans can be stored at a cool, dry place away from the direct heat of the sun.
Whether you have commercially produced or homemade tomato habanero jellies, opened cans should always be refrigerated. Just remember to keep them away from direct sunlight when using them as heat will change the color and flavor of the tomato habanero jellies.
TOMATO HABANERO JELLY
6 cups sugar
4 cups tomatoes, skin, seeds and all
2 lemons, quartered, skin, seeds and all
4-8 habaneros, skin, seeds and all
3 oz. container of liquid pectin
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and habaneros. Add the quartered lemons and boil on high heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. With a spoon, get a look at the color of the liquid in the pot.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool. The mixture will turn sticky after a couple of minutes.
- Get a strainer and strain the mixture into another big, stock pot. Let it drip for 15-20 minutes. Never press the mushy mixture to achieve avoid getting a murky jelly.
- Once you’re done, bring it back to a boil for exactly one minute. Fill into hot jars, top with lids, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Cool the jelly and set it overnight.