A little bit sweet, a whole lot of spicy, and enough flavor to make any dish complete, candied jalapenos are beyond worthy of adding to your next meal.

Whether you toss a few in a sandwich, throw a handful on your tacos, or pop a few just because, this ultimate spice-lovers treat is certainly making waves thanks to its popularity on the internet. But before you dig in, here’s what you need to know.

Where do candied jalapenos come from? 
 

This one is a bit of a mystery, but considering they’re often called “Cowboy Candy” we can safely call them a Midwest and Southern favorite.

 

What are they made with?

 

A typical candied jalapeno recipe includes firm jalapeño peppers, cider vinegar, granulated sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic, and ground cayenne pepper for even more spice.

 

What are candied jalapenos served with?

 

These hot bad boys are good with just about anything, but make an ideal addition to dips, topped on nachos, and sprinkled on macaroni and cheese. They also pair perfectly with with eggs and pulled pork sandwiches. 

 

What do they taste like?

 

As Rebecca Lindamood described in Not Your Mama’s Canning Book, “There aren’t words that exist to describe how addictive these little savory, sweet, spicy, crunchy, garlicky pickled jalapeño rounds are. Put them on sandwiches, tacos, rice, or bake them into cornbread. You’ll need more and more!”

 

Are There any precautions I should take while making them?

 

Yes. Everyone — and we mean everyone— suggests wearing gloves while working with the jalapenos. This is because of a compound known as capsaicin that lives in peppers. It makes peppers hot, but it also can burn your skin. And worse, if you touch a pepper then touch your eye, mouth, or any other sensitive area (hint: don’t go to the bathroom after working with jalapenos) you’ll be feeling the effects for days.

 

Can I just buy candied jalapenos instead?

 

Yes, of course you can. Go ahead and buy these Texas Pepper Works Candy-Krisp Jalapenos, which are all natural, gluten-free, and made right in the Lone Star state.

 

But what if I really want to make my own?

 

You can do that too. Here’s a delicious recipe from Foodie With Family that will have you enjoying this super spicy treat in no time. Just make sure to have a glass of milk handy in case you can’t handle the heat.