Thursday, July 3, 2008

Aleppo pepper

"Do you know Aleppo pepper, by the way? You should: it is a dried chili generally sold roughly ground or crushed; it has the sweetness, roundness and perfume of the best kind of sundried tomatoes, but with a substantial kick behind it. It is also beautiful to look at, a rich, warm red that seems to reflect its flavor." (Thanks Leila)

What's Aleppo pepper? Anyone knows?

1 comment:

Leila said...

I didn't look in my copy of Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food, but this guy did:

http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2008/03/aleppo-pepper.html

Roden is a native of Cairo but her family lived in Halab for a thousand years so she should know.

The American spice merchant Penzey's carries it, calling it a Turkish pepper. but of course it must originate in Aleppo, due to the name?

http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysaleppopepper.html

I'd heard about it online a decade ago and thought to ask a spice merchant for it in Beirut in 2000. He told me that it's hard to get and you don't see it around much. He acted like he had heard of it though.

When you go to a kafta place, like the one in Tripoli across from the police station, don't they usually offer a "Halabi" kafta/kibbe? I'm relying on my memory here.

Is it possible that in LEbanon the pepper is referred to by a different name? Or (now I'm inventing a story) it was associated with the Turks and fell out of favor after 1918?