Candied Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Food - Drink
What Is Cowboy Candy And How Do You Eat It?
Cowboy Candy
From cowboy chili to cowboy caviar and even cowboy butter, the cowboy lifestyle has led to many culinary innovations, including cowboy candy. Bringing both heat and sweet, cowboy candy, or candied jalapeños, is an incredibly versatile condiment that pairs well with everything from cheese and meat to margaritas.
Most agree that cowboy candy originated in Texas a hundred years ago. According to WWH Ranch, the original seller of cowboy candy, the condiment was made in 1922 by Mindie Heironimus, who possessed a surplus of jalapeños from her garden and decided to pickle them in a sweet and tangy syrup.
Cowboy candy starts with sliced and stemmed — but not deseeded — jalapeños, sugar, and apple cider vinegar, but some recipes call for brown sugar or even molasses. As for spices, celery seeds, garlic powder, and turmeric are commonly used, while coriander, allspice, or cayenne make occasional appearances.
While WHH Ranch is known for being the original purveyor of cowboy candy, plenty of other companies offer their own take on the “candy,” like Van Roehling’s unique Raspberry Candied Jalapeños. As for getting your hands on some, they’re readily available in Texas grocery stores, or you can buy them online.
Making Cowboy Candy
Start by slicing your jalapeños into 1/4-inch thick coins — to retain the spice, don’t deseed them — and then bring your apple cider vinegar, sugar, spices, and jalapeños to a simmer. Once simmered, remove your jalapeños and place in jars, then continue to simmer your sauce until thickened before pouring it over the jalapeños.
Eating Cowboy Candy
There are very few foods that cowboy candy can't improve from burgers to Cuban sandwiches. They work well with classic cowboy staples like baked beans and cornbread but also pair equally well with everything from fish tacos to deviled eggs, baked brie, or even bloody marys and margaritas.