Chakalaka — A South African relish made with chiles, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage vinegar, spices (like masala) and historically eaten with braai (barbecue).
Chamoy — A piquant condiment from Mexico served on recent fruits and ice cream. Consider it as Mexico’s ketchup. See recipe beneath.
Gastrique — The French type of agrodolce, or aigre-doux, made with sugar or honey and vinegar. The French typically use “sweeter” vinegars, equivalent to apple cider or sherry, and serve the sauce on hefty cheeses and meats.
Nam chim kai — Thailand’s dipping sauce is a mixture of sugar or honey, vinegar, garlic and fish sauce.
Nuoc cham — A vinegar-and-sugar-based sauce laced with chiles and fish sauce. Ubiquitous in Viet cooking, it interprets to “dipping sauce.”
Rotkohl — German sweet-and-sour crimson cabbage, historically made with onions, apples and cider vinegar. Technically, it’s a facet dish served with roasts, however in relation to a listing of candy and bitter, it actually shouldn’t be missed.
It’s not too laborious to see the repeating sample right here: The 2 substances integral to creating a real sweet-and-sour sauce — it doesn’t matter what a part of the world you’re in — are sugar and vinegar. Collectively they create the complexity that we discover ourselves craving, whether or not we’re dipping spring rolls or slicing right into a pork roast. These easy accompaniments are tiny gastronomical time capsules meant to be adjusted and tweaked primarily based on the substances at hand, and in fashionable instances, the substances you want.
Dip in and luxuriate in.
Meridith Ford is an Atlanta-based chef and meals author and the proprietor of Cremalosa gelateria in Decatur.
Candy-sour sauces and condiments aren’t troublesome to make. Components for these recipes for agrodolce, olives and chamoy are straightforward to substitute (more often than not), so if there’s an herb or spice that doesn’t attraction, merely depart it out.
Many variations of this Italian condiment/sauce will be discovered throughout Italy. However it’s the Sicilian model, with crimson pepper flakes, that I take pleasure in most. Some variations use solely sugar because the “candy”; others use balsamic as a substitute of crimson wine vinegar. No matter you select, agrodolce will complement absolutely anything — from cheeses to fish to meats and at the same time as a drizzle over gelato. I take advantage of the pistachios to sprinkle over any dish with agrodolce, however in the event you’re not a fan, merely omit them. Due to the honey, this sauce will thicken because it cools, so take care to not cut back it for too lengthy — simply till it coats the again of a spoon, about 15 to twenty minutes. When you’d like a thinner sauce, cut back for much less time as you need.
1 cup crimson wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon crimson pepper flakes
Salt to style
1 cup pistachios, toasted, for sprinkling over the agrodolce, optionally available
In a small saucepan, mix the vinegar, honey, sugar, crimson pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Stir to mix. Deliver to a simmer over medium warmth, and simmer, uncovered, till the sauce is diminished and thick, about 15 to twenty minutes. Skim the crimson pepper flakes out if desired. Serve over meat, fish, greens, cheeses or dessert. Garnish with toasted pistachios, if desired.
Makes 2 cups.
Per 1-tablespoon serving: 50 energy (p.c of energy from fats, 36), 1 gram protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, hint fiber, 2 grams whole fats (hint saturated fats), no ldl cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium.
Syrian Candy-and-Bitter Olives
Olives are considered one of our oldest cultivated meals, courting to Syria and Palestine as early as 3000 B.C. It needs to be no shock that they’re an integral a part of a Center Japanese mezze. For this recipe, search for brine-cured olives equivalent to Castelvetrano. They’re straightforward to seek out in your native grocery store, or Entire Meals. You possibly can velocity up the flavour course of by sweating the onions within the olive oil, then combining the remainder of the substances with a fast stir. It’s straightforward to get artistic and add your personal flavors — orange or lemon peel, herbs, spices. Bear in mind to convey the olives to room temperature in order that the oil has time to skinny earlier than serving.
2 cups medium inexperienced olives, brine cured
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 small crimson onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
10-15 complete black peppercorns
Rinse and drain the olives. In a small bowl, combine the olives along with the olive oil, water, onion, brown sugar and pepper. Place in an hermetic container or sanitized jar. Retailer for 3 days to three months within the fridge. Enable to come back to room temperature earlier than serving to permit the olive oil to de-solidify.
Makes about 3 cups.
Per 1-tablespoon serving: 32 energy (p.c of energy from fats, 87), hint protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, hint fiber, 3 grams whole fats (hint saturated fats), no ldl cholesterol, 154 milligrams sodium.
This Mexican taste bomb packs a enjoyable punch spooned on every part from rooster to chickpeas; mangoes to molletes. In Mexico, it’s mostly discovered on recent fruit or ice cream. It may be as straightforward or as difficult as you wish to make it. Some recipes use nothing greater than apricot jam, water and seasonings equivalent to chiles. Others contain infusing herbs, spices and chiles into the apricot combination. (This one falls someplace within the center.)
Chamoy has a wealthy historical past. Based on meals historian Rachel Laudan, it was almost definitely delivered to Western Mexico by the Chinese language by way of Hawaii, the place sweet-and-sour snacks are often known as “crack seed,” and comprised of the Prunus mume — a fruit typically mistaken for a plum, however extra like an apricot (consider Japanese umeboshi). When you discover your chamoy too candy, omit the prunes and use the identical quantity of apricots as an alternative. No matter you do, attempt to not omit the dried hibiscus. The sauce will get its bitter taste from these petals, and so they supply up an irresistible crimson shade as nicely.
2 cups water
1 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers (out there at most Latin groceries, and at Your DeKalb Farmers Market)
1/4 cup prunes
6 dried serrano chiles, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup recent lime juice
Salt to style
In a medium saucepan, mix the water, dried apricots, hibiscus flowers, prunes and chiles and convey to a boil over medium-high warmth. Cut back the warmth to a simmer and canopy. Let the combination simmer gently till the fruit is tender and plump, about 10 minutes. Put aside to chill.
Pour the cooled combination right into a blender or meals processor. Add the sugar and course of on excessive till easy. Stir within the lime juice and salt.
Makes about 4 cups.
Per 1-tablespoon serving: 18 energy (p.c of energy from fats, 6), hint protein, 4 grams carbohydrates, hint fiber, hint whole fats (hint saturated fats), no ldl cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.