Spicy Foods that Are Red Hot Right Now

Styling and Photography by LAURIE MOSCO

Today’s foodies are craving less comfort and more food adventure. Spicy flavors are a major source of their food thrills. 41% of consumers would choose an interesting flavor like sweet and spicy over more traditional flavors, according to Frito Lay (SmartBrief). 

But the condiment section isn’t the ONLY place where you can get some heat. 

Read on for tips to spice up your snacks and meals.

Spicy Snacks and Sides

Spicy snacks are burning up the shelves, with the category growing 12% in the last few years, according to Frito Lay (Eater). While we ARE in for something new, it can be nice to have a touch of familiar in our snacking options. Like classic Blue Diamond Almonds with a spicy spin of Siracha, or for an extra burst of salt with that spice, Wasabi & Soy Sauce.  

Another category flaming hot for spicy flavors is meat. The biggest area in the meat space where flaming hot fans are flocking – jerky (Smartbrief).  Even with meat trending, plant-based is still very popular too. Noble Jerky Vegan Jerky Chipotle bring two the trends together, offering bold chipotle spice in a plant-based jerky recipe.

Jerky isn’t the only snack getting a plant-based makeover in the spicy space. So are cheese curls! You won’t believe your taste buds when you try Peatos Fiery Hot Crunchy Curls. Made with peas , Peatos dairy-free curls offer all the crunch and bold flavors in a better-for-you package.

Side dishes are another great place for you to experiment with spicy flavors. Sides allow you to control the portions AND if you can’t stand the heat,  you have your main dish and other sides to enjoy. 

Wow spice fans with up-an-coming spicy flavor, Peri Peri, found in Tilda Ready to Heat Peri Peri Rice. Premium basmati rice with a blend of green and red peppers, sweet tomato, bird’s eye chili, and lemon creates an intense spice like no other. Added bonus — it’s ready in minutes!

Spicy is synonymous with sports. Add some spicy kick to your tailgating spread with Eden Organic Kimchi Sauerkraut. The bold blend of Korean-inspired spices makes for a perfect pairing with brats or hot dogs.

While you’re at it, add Tillen Farms Spicy Hot Asparagus are a good tailgating companion too! The spicy pickled asparagus stalks are the perfect accompaniment to tailgate cocktails or as a spicy alternative to a pickle.

Hot Sauces Still Hot

When it comes to spicy foods, hot sauces are still king. 74% of Americans put hot sauce on their food, with 45% spicing it up at least once a week (The Food Institute)! Be a hot spot for all things spicy with an assortment of unique craft hot sauces.

For those new to the spicy scene, there’s Hank Sauce hot sauces. Full of bold flavors, without the overpowering heat, Hank’s craft hot sauces are for hot sauce fans AND not hot sauce fans alike. In delightfully complex flavors from Mild Herb Infused and Cilanktro, to sweet and tangy Camouflage, to hot Hank’s Heat Hot Sauce – there a sauce to kick up every recipe no matter the spice level.

 Looking for a classic hot sauce done to perfection? There’s Wenzel Sauce Hot Sauce. Spicy, tangy with a buttery flavor, Wenzel Hot Sauce is sure to kick up your hot sauce routine.

 A popular spice profile right now — bold and blazin’ hot scorpion pepperHigh River Rogue Hot Sauce hits all the hot notes, made with Ghost AND Scorpion — the hottest peppers in the world —paired with blood oranges, apples, and peaches for a slight touch of sweet.

 The appeal of spicy IS the flavor adventure. Take a trip to Brazil with Legal Hot Sauce Hot Hot Heat. Made from Malegueta peppers, chili peppers unique to Brazil, Legal Hot Hot Heat Hot Sauce serves up a signature fruity heat you’ll love.

 Sweet and spicy is a hot pairing at the moment making Bachan’s Hot & Spicy Japanese BBQ Sauce another hot sauce burning up the charts. Crafted using the finest Japanese Mirin, and soy sauce, and freshest red jalapeno peppers, green onion, and ginger, Bachan’s Hot and Spicy Japanese Barbeque Sauce adds umami-filled spicy, sweet flavor to any dish.

 If you’re looking for a little tropical, flare, then High River Sauces Cheeba Gold Pepper Sauce will be high up on your list. A mustard-based sauce featuring a blend of peaches and Scotch Bonnets, along with West Indian curry spices, High River Cheeba Gold artisan hot sauce brings zesty tropical flavors.

Another way to spice up your hot sauce routine — add the elegance of truffles! If it’s a spicy truffle explosion you’re seeking, then Sabatino Tartufi Truffled Hot Sauce hits the hot spot, with its blend of chilis and black and white truffles. Looking more for a ‘if truffle oil and siracha had a baby’ vibe?  Opt for Truff Black Truffle Hot Sauce.

Spice Things Up with Spicy Sweets & Sodas

The combination sweet and spicy is really taking off. So much so we’re seeing even more more spicy in unexpected places like sweets and sodas. Added bonusspicy candy and soda are primed for food challenges on TikTok and YouTube (SmartBrief).

When it comes to food challenges it’s all about the spicier the better.  Like seeing if you can stand a sip of Rocket Fizz’s chili pepper sodas made with some of the hottest peppers on the planet. 

If you’re looking to tip the Scoville scale, there’s Nevada Reaper, followed by Ghost Pepper, then Habanero. If you’re new to spice, don’t worry, there’s hot but not TOO hot Jalapeno. When they see the flames on the label, your followers will know these sodas pack some intense heat. 

You a sucker for hard candies?  Then Ghost Pepper Hard Candies will have you hot and bothered. Real ghost pepper blended with sweet Watermelon, Cherry, and Blue Raspberry creates some intense sweet heat. Dynamic packaging makes Ghost Pepper Hard Candies ready for their social media close-up. 

 When spicy food isn’t enough, add some mystery with Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Fiery Five. Open the box, if you dare, and be confronted by iconic Jelly Belly Jelly Beans in fierce flavors like Sriracha, Jalapeno, Cayenne, Habanero, or Carolina Reaper. That you don’t know which one which is all part of the fun!

Those looking for a little less of a heat challenge and more sweet and spicy flavors, there’s up-and-coming brand, Chili Chews. Their take on chewy candy classics like Gummy Bears, Peach Bites, and Strawberry Bites all coated in a blend of chilis creates some delightful, sweet heat.

 Tend to be a more of a sour candy fan? Don’t worry Chili Chews puts their spicy spin on Sour Watermelon Bites, Sour Worms, and Sour Buds too! 

Chocolate is another great pairing for spicy. Especially when it’s matched with up a tried-and-true spice brand like Tabasco® Spicy Dark Chocolate Wedges. Dark chocolate with classic Tabasco Hot Sauce Mixed in creates a unique experience of intense heat and rich chocolate. Pair with an elegant tin featuring the iconic Tabasco branding and this confection is camera ready!

Spicy flavors are heating up. But don’t think spicy is saved solely for hot sauces. Snacks, sweet, sodas, even sides can give you that spicy kick.  

Hot to get your hands on all things spicy?

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