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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> chile varieties

Fresh Pimientos de Padron

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Use the Promo Code pad25 to receive a 20 percent discount!Pimientos de Padron are amazingly tasty, tiny peppers from a medieval town in Galicia, northwest Spain. People flock to tapas bars of the neighboring pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela to savor a plateful of these unique peppers that are lightly seared in olive oil, and then sprinkled with sea salt. Their fame has spread throughout the rest of Spain - and now to America! What makes these little Padron peppers unique is that randomly you will pop a spicy one in your mouth! Since there is no way to distinguish the one from the rest which are sweet, you never know when you will get a surprise! A New York Times writer calls the experience "Spanish Roulette!"  We in Virginia are on the same latitude as the village of Padron, so we asked a local farmer if he could recreate this treat by planting imported seeds. His effort has been a total success. The pepper plants grown in the rich Virginia soil are identical to those grown on the parallel Atlantic shore - in the Rias of Galicia! Every couple of days during the growing season here in Virginia, our farmer hand-picks these small, crisp peppers. Following the tradition of the farmers of the village of Padron, he selects only the small young peppers, because the larger, more mature peppers are always hot. The following morning we receive these fresh peppers and send them on to you! Because these peppers are a farm crop, supplies are dependent upon the weather. If there is an unusually small harvest on a certain day we may ship your order a day or two later when the next peppers are picked. Of course, we will inform you should there be any delay. --from La Tienda, the mail-order Spanish food store.

- 1 pound, 100 peppers in a plastic carton
- Delicious lightly sauteed in olive oil
- Grown from true Padron pepper seeds from Spain

Order HERE.



A Rocoto Bonsai from Finland

Posted by: Dave DeWitt


Our chilehead friend from Finland, Jukka Kilpinnen, has mastered the technique of bonsai chile plants, as evidenced by this beautiful rocoto plant in a classic bonsai pot.  If any of you would like a step-by-step guide to this procedure, it's in English here.  Incidentally, in Finnish, the technique is called bonchi.

Chile grower Sebastiano Marrone sends these photos of some rather unusual pods from his pepper garden. 'Biquinho' is a Brazilian variety that very little is known about. The name means "little beak."  Rocoto Longo (long rocoto) is a stretched-out version of the Peruvian rocoto that is usually apple-shaped. It is native to the Canary Islands. 'Aribibbi Gusano' is called the "caterpillar pepper" because of its unusual shape. It is from Bolivia and its flavor has citrus overtones. --Dave DeWitt

Allen Boatman, a friend who teaches horticulture in Tampa, Florida, sent me this photo of a variety of Capsicum baccatum that he calls 'Aji Bird'. Amazingly enough, at the time this photo was shot, the plant was only about ten months old. The pods are very much like chiltepins, suggesting that this plant represents a very primitive type of baccatum that was (and still is) spread by birds. It has very large leaves in relation to the pods and Allen says he drops a pod or two into his morning coffee! --Dave DeWitt

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