This might seem like a dumb question, but I am going to make a pickled pepper relish of sorts that is really just chopped carrot, onion, and habanero pepper cooked briefly in a pickling solution and jarred. In reviewing several recipes for pickled peppers, all use vinegar and salt, and some but not all use sugar. I'd rather just count on the natural sweetness of the habaneros and carrots for flavor.
My specific question is: does the sugar do anything to the texture of the vegetables or affect the preservative qualities of the brine in pickling recipes, or is it just for flavor?
UPDATE: I just cracked open the first jar of the pickled peppers, and I have to say that I don't think the sugar would have added anything to the flavor of them. The carrots and habaneros are both naturally pretty sweet (if you can taste it past the habanero's capsaicin bonfire). The onions also mellowed with just the vinegar brine. I've made pickled onions and jalepenos (which are less naturally sweet), and even there I've had to be careful to avoid making the pickling solution cloying. All in all, in this case I'm glad I didn't use it. Thanks everyone for the info!