Story of Spices / RED PEPPER

In autumn, the smell of red pepper hanging from balconies left to dry fills the air. This image and smell remind you that you are in a warm climate. On Mediterranean dinner tables, red pepper takes its part next to salt and black pepper. Sprinkling it on soups, meat, vegetable dishes and even salads is customary. 

Red pepper was brought to Spain after it was discovered in its motherland America and spread to Europe, Middle East, China and Central Asia. Hungary and Spain are the biggest red pepper producers in Europe. In the West and other parts of the world, they usually consume red pepper as powder. On the other hand, in Turkish cuisine, dried red peppers are ground and made flaked red pepper and powdered red pepper. The pride of Maraş and Urfa, flaked red pepper and isot, are known and preferred also in European cuisine now with its soft taste and unique aroma that don’t dominate the taste of food.

Taste notes:
Depending on the level of bitterness of the pepper, it varies as sweet, mild or hot. It has an aroma with fruity and caramel notes. Some red peppers have naturally smoky taste. Its taste varies from sweet and smoky to bulky and sharply hot.

It works very well with many different meals such as chicken, fish, bulgur pilaf, pasta with tomato or creamy sauce, soup and dumplings.

When not heated, the aroma of red pepper stays softer. Thus, you can put some in the food to add color right before you take it off from stove. Of course, red pepper offers so much more than that. In order to feel its unique aroma better, brown it with a little bit oil before adding it to your food or soup. Afterwards, add it to your pot and stir. You might obtain a delicious taste by covering your chicken or fish with powder red pepper before putting it in the oven. However, don’t forget that red pepper has high levels of sugar and might easily burn over a high heat.
Red pepper does not have a long duration time. It might be preserved in a cold and dry place up to 4 months.

Good idea:
You can prepare mixtures with flaked red pepper, thyme and olive oil or powder red pepper, turmeric and olive oil and offer them as starters before breakfast, lunch or dinner.
You can also prepare delicious marinades with red pepper for chicken. Here is a recipe for you: Mix 2-tablespoon powder red pepper, 3- tablespoon olive oil, a clove of garlic and some salt together. Coat chicken breast or thigh with the mixture and keep it in fridge for half and hour. Then fry your chickens in some oil or roast them in the grill mode of your oven. Let them rest for 5 minutes after taking them out and serve.
With flaked red pepper and olive oil, you can prepare a delicious sauce that you can preserve in a small pot. Heat 1 glass olive oil without overheating in a frying pan. Put half tea glass flaked red pepper in a bowl, pour hot olive oil on it slowly and mix. Add it to soups, stews and meats and double up your enjoyment of taste.