Looking for the perfect New Year’s cooking resolution? Add more chilis, peppers, and spice to your life! Black pepper has been used in cooking for more than 2000 years to add flavor and heat to dishes. Peppers and chilis are grown all over the world, and each type has a unique flavor and heat. Old Town Spice Shop, your local spice store, carries more than 25 different selections of chilis and peppers for you to try!
Things You Didn’t Know About Peppercorn
Black pepper comes from the dried fruit peppercorn that grows on a flowering vine. When peppercorns are ready, they are peeled from the stem and boiled. Then they are left drying in the sun for several days. Pepper can come in many colors, including green, pink, black, and white. They all come from the same plant, but the color depends on how ripe it is and how it was processed. For example, black peppercorns are actually green when they are harvested and don’t get their black color until they are dry.
You can get the best flavor from pepper if you use whole peppercorns and grind them fresh just before using! Pepper can be added to almost any dish for extra flavor and spice.
Fun Facts About Chili Peppers
Chili peppers are believed to be one of the first plants that were domesticated over 6000 years ago. There are more than 400 different varieties of chilis that you can find all over the world. But most of them are from the same species.
When you eat a chili pepper, the second bite is usually hotter than the first. This is because the spiciest part is actually the flesh near the seeds and the stem. The flesh of the pepper is the hottest part, with the highest concentration of capsaicin. Capsaicin is produced by the plant as a defense mechanism.
Chili peppers are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin B6 and have many other great health benefits. They can be used in any dish to add desired heat and flavor. Most people use them in chilis, soups, and sauces, on meats, and more.
The heat of a pepper is measured by the Scoville scale (SHU). Jalapeños measure 2,500 SHU, while a ghost chili pepper has a rating of 1,000,000+ SHU. If you like extra hot or not so much, you can find both extremes, at your local spice store, in our wide variety of peppers and chilis.
Our Favorite Spicy Dishes
Some of our favorite spicy recipes to try this year using spices from Old Town Spice Shop include:
- Pasta dishes - Top off your pasta dishes with a freshly ground peppercorn blend for the best flavor!
- Scrambled eggs - Add some cayenne to your scrambled eggs for some added heat and flavor! It’s a great way to spice up a traditional morning meal.
- Nashville hot chicken - Use any Nashville hot chicken recipe with our smoked hot paprika, freshly ground black peppercorn, and cayenne for the best and spiciest chicken you’ve ever had!
- Fresh salsa - Make some fresh salsa with our serrano chilis for a hot and savory flavor.
- Korean dishes - No Korean dish is complete without our gochugaru! It can be used in stews, side dishes like spicy cucumber salad, and in kimchi.