Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hot Or Not...?

Sometimes when eating peppers, one person's definition of hot might not be the same as yours, ya know? That's the topic of today's post.

Pimientos de Padrón

Eating these unpredictable tapas is a game of spicy-pepper roulette.

One of these peppers could set your mouth on fire.ANDREAS SALDAVS/SHUTTERSTOCK

There’s an expression in Spanish: Los pimientos de Padrón, unos pican y otros no, which translates to “Peppers from Padrón, some are hot and some are not.” These small green members of the Capsicum genus, measuring about two inches long, make for an exciting, unpredictable dining experience. Think Russian roulette, but with spicy peppers.

You’ll find them served in tapas bars around Spain. Chefs fry the green skin until it blisters, then top with a drizzle of lemon juice and flecks of coarse sea salt. Most of these have a piquant, peppery taste that’s pretty mild, with a slight grassy or nutty finish.

But if you’re lucky—or unlucky depending on your heat tolerance—you may get the one spicy pepper in 10 that can burn as much as biting into a jalapeño.

Legend has it that these unpredictable lime-green peppers made their way from South America to Galicia in northwestern Spain with a group of 16th-century Franciscan monks. They cultivated the seeds on the their monastery grounds in Herbón, near the town of Padrón. Thanks to the cooler environment, high levels of rainfall, and the monks’ selection of particular seeds, the peppers evolved into a strain that’s different from their Latin American ancestors.

So what makes some of these green firecrackers spicy? The heat level apparently increases the longer the peppers stay on the bush, or shows up in peppers that receive more light and water. But there is no way of telling whether a pepper will be hot or not short of actually tasting it.

Need to Know
Although pimientos de padrón are usually served as finger food, you can spice up your pizzas, salads, soups, and rice dishes with these unpredictable peppers. They go really well with cream-based sauces or with aged Spanish cheeses such as manchego. Sometimes they can even be pickled or preserved.

I used to eat a lot of peppers when I was younger, but as I grew older that changed. Still like hot foods, just not as much.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's trying to rain again.


Mamahen said...

My stomach won't tolerate spicy foods these days, so I would have to pass on these. It has rained for 3days here and they expect it to be this way mostly through Friday...not hard rain, just enough to make outdoor activities a challenge.

linda m said...

My poor stomach doesn't tolerate very spicy foods these days. I can take some "heat" but too much causes me real distress. Cloudy somewhat warmer day (43 degrees) today.

Momlady said...

No hot stuff for me. I'd end up in the ER.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
Believe me I can relate to that. Seems to be a lot of the wet weather going around.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
It seems as though many of us have the same problem. Wonder if it's an age thing?
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Momlady...
We certainly don't want that, so better stay away from the peppers.
Thanks for the visit today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I like some hot stuff, like jalapeno bread and butter pickles and of course some hot sauce used sparingly.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
Guess like most of us, a little goes a long way.
Thanks for stopping by today, Dizzy!