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Bad Seed

Peter Cortez had created a spicy, savory mix of nuts, seeds, peppers and spices that brings a bit of badness to goody-two-shoes granola. Perfecting the recipe took a long time, from figuring out the secret to keeping it crispy, to nailing the ideal ratio of sweet-hot-savory goodness. 

He was all set to turn the condiment aisle upside down, but he needed a little help bringing it to market, so he turned to his chile-head cohorts: Joe Sayaman, with whom he founded digital production agency Mizaplas; Penny De Los Santos, a globe-trotting food photographer; and Matt Ferrin, an art director and hot sauce auteur. 

From their home base in Brooklyn, New York, they used their collective flavor expertise, spicy sensibility and creative vision to figure out the essential finishing touches, and, finally, Chili Granola was prepared for world domination.

Like that phase your Grammy went through when she decided to spice things up a bit (maybe with a hot pink hairdo or an ankle tattoo?), Bad Seed’s Chili Granola sheds the category’s sweet, crunchy image in favor of a garlicky, spicy-sweet umami flavor that takes an unexpected star turn in everything from fried eggs to tacos to a simple pan of roasted veggies. The folks at Bad Seed are convinced even the most cautious consumers can acclimate to a bit of heat, and with their Chili Granola they hope to spread their spicy, crispy, savory gospel far and wide.

Peter and Joe recently hung out with Padma Lakshmi for a sweet-meets-spicy conversation, sponsored by TAZO Tea! Check it out:

Maker website:

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