March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is “Celebrating a World of Flavors.” Looking at traditional recipes and the ingredients used across cultures, sugar is an ingredient that can be found in a wide variety of dishes. From sweet to savory, real sugar is used for various functional reasons. Most often we associate sugar with sweetness, but even a little bit of sugar in a recipe (like the pinch in your homemade salsa) acts as a flavor enhancer and balancer. In fact, in a representative sample of consumers, the most often listed ingredient that makes food enjoyable was sugar!


Here is a sampling of recipes from various cultures where even a little bit of sugar goes a long way to bring out the full flavor of each dish:

Thai Chicken Coconut CurryAverie Cooks 
Italian Pasta Sauce The Freshy Cooky
Mexican SalsaDaring Gourmet
French CroissantAll Recipes
Mongolian BeefRasa Malaysia
Southern BBQ SauceThe Spruce Eats

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