Crushed Red Peppers

Crushed red peppersCrushed red peppers are arguably one of my favorite foods. I think I’ve mentioned that about 78 times, but possibly more. I put them on pizza (like tons of them), in batters and flour mixes I use for deep frying, in chile powder blends, and even some barbecue sauces.

Red pepper shakerThey are one half of the famous bifecta that can be found in those spirally glass shakers located in every American Italian diner and pizza restaurant.

Think dark atmosphere, with a burning candle at every table. And all of those tables are covered with red and white checkered tablecloths. Perhaps that was a bit too specific, but I think you know what I’m talking about…and yeah, that picture to the right is totally an affiliate link.

Do yourself a favor, if you use crushed red peppers as much as I do, consider purchasing them from Costco or the bulk foods section of your local grocery store. You’ll save a ton of money that way.

Now it’s time for some actual relevant information. Crushed red peppers or red pepper flakes as they’re sometimes called, are used as a condiment. They consist of chile peppers which have been dried and crushed. They are not ground.

The condiment is usually produced from cayenne peppers, although commercial producers of crushed red peppers may use different varieties. These peppers usually fall in the 30,000 – 50,000 Scoville unit range.

Typically you’ll find a high ratio of seeds when you purchase crushed red peppers from the store. It’s believed that the seeds contain the majority of the spice.

In Turkey however, crushed red peppers are commonly served as a condiment with a minimal amount of seeds. In English it’s known as pul biber.

Red pepper flakes are used in sausages to make hot links, in different pizza and spaghetti sauces, soups and stews, and also in pickling blends.

Crushed red pepper flakes can be placed in a food processor and ground down to form a powder that can be used to add heat and as well as impart additional flavor to many sauces and pastes.