Matthia Accurso, award-winning chef de cuisine of retail dining at University of Massachusetts (UMass) in Amherst, Mass., likes to take advantage of the campus’ orchards and fields. He also likes the combination of fresh fruit and heat.
His trifecta of Texas Pete® Original Hot Sauce, Gruyère and fresh apple leverages the bounty of fall while showcasing an unexpected but delicious flavor combination.
“The Gruyère lends an earthy savoriness and richness without overpowering the subtle sweetness of the apple, balanced by the great heat and tanginess of the Texas Pete® hot sauce,” he says.
“Fresh fruit and chile pepper is not a traditional flavor pairing in most parts of the United States, however it is very popular in many parts of the world including Mexico, India and throughout Asia.”
Given that UMass is known for its forward-thinking foodservice program, it makes sense that on-trend flavor combinations like this are part of the mix. And certainly, college kids fall into that category of diners looking for dialed-up levels of heat tempered by a sweet counterpoint.
“It’s fun to balance this medley of flavors especially in the fall, when our UMass Amherst orchard produces many different unique apple varieties,” says Accurso.
“I like to seek out the crisp and slightly sweet ones to create a fresh apple salad seasoned with hot sauce and served on an Alsatian-style tart with caramelized onions and Gruyère.”