The Spicy Ingredient You Need To Make Fruit Flavors Truly Pop

Bowl of berries
Bowl of berries - DUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock

Adding a little sprinkle of sugar to fruit is a traditional route for sweetening things up. Others claim roasting is one great trick to make the blandest fruits taste sweet and refreshing -- but there is another ingredient for sweetening fruit we think you should know about.

As it turns out, an everyday seasoning can make the overall flavor of fruit a little bit better, though it may seem somewhat unusual. Seasoning fruit with freshly ground black pepper is one key to amplifying their flavor; a little added spice makes their inherent sweetness seem much more so by contrast. Though the combo might not be the first you'd think to try, the science behind black pepper supports the fact that this ingredient can enhance the flavor of your food. The scent of black pepper causes your salivary glands to work overtime; that saliva is what helps you taste the full range of flavors in your favorite fruits.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

How To Use Black Pepper To Season Fruit

Black pepper in a grinder
Black pepper in a grinder - Lilkin/Shutterstock

Trying this trick is as easy as slicing up some of your favorite fruits and grinding fresh black pepper. However, because we want to avoid overwhelming the natural fruit flavors, it's crucial not to use too much. After seasoning, toss the fruit slices in the pepper to add an even, light coating on every piece. Once it's all mixed, taste test a small bite. From there, you can alter the amount used according to your preferences for a spicy (or less spicy) kick. If your strawberries aren't sweet enough, we suggest using a mix of sugar and pepper. Or, consider using a flavored sugar — like orange and vanilla — to impart even more depth and complexity.

Sweet and savory flavors often pair well together, as proven by chocolate-covered pretzels and salted caramel sauce. The spice from black pepper is especially beneficial for super-sweet fruits, like ripe strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. The slight heat cuts through the sweetness to create a more complex flavor. But that's not all. Ultra-acidic fruits such as pineapple, plums, or lemons also benefit from the black pepper treatment.

Spice Up Other Sweets With Black Pepper

strawberry balsamic ice cream sundae
strawberry balsamic ice cream sundae - fornStudio/Shutterstock

If you're planning to add fruit to a super sweet dessert, like strawberry shortcake, or on top of some ice cream, the flavor of black pepper can uniquely come into play. For example, make strawberry honey balsamic ice cream with a hint of black pepper to create a frozen treat perfect for the end of summer.

The inclusion of black pepper in sweet foods isn't limited to fruits, either. In Iceland, piparkökur are light and crispy cookies flavored with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. The spice can also shine in other treats that hold up to warming spices, like scratch-made pumpkin pie, carrot cake, or even some fudgy brownies. Although cracking black pepper onto your super sweet fruits may seem like a strange seasoning choice, this slightly spicy secret ingredient could be what you've been missing to enhance the natural sweetness of your fresh produce.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.