Sweet Spiciness

The pinkish-brown color of the Mezza red pepper dip ($3.95) at Mezza Grill (6100 Westheimer, 713-334-2000) makes it look a lot like chili, but a taste quickly changes that impression. The dip contains sweet red peppers, olive oil and pomegranate molasses, which imparts a sweet taste. Hot pepper flakes add the heat, while walnuts add the crunch. A background note of cumin is barely noticeable. It all makes for an interesting mix of sweetness and spiciness -- very hard to resist. The accompanying seasoned pita crisps are perfect for scooping up every last drop.
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Paul Galvani