The Aleppo Chile is native to the region around the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. Aleppo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Before the current civil war this was a land of spectacular architecture and rich Islamic history, Aleppo was also considered the end of the fabled Silk Road trade route.
Today many chileheads considered Aleppo Pepper to be one of the best kept secrets of the chile world. The Aleppo pod ripens to a deep burgundy color where they are then harvested and semi-dried. Typically you only find Aleppo Pepper as a crushed chile pepper with most of the seeds removed. Crushed Aleppo Pepper is a flavorful departure from the more common crushed red peppers.
Because of the ongoing conflict in Syria the production of Aleppo chiles has been destroyed and isn't likely to resume anytime in the forseeable future.
Aleppo Pepper, also known as Halaby pepper, is a variety of Capsicum annuum that has an ideally balanced heat and flavor profile. It comes in at 2,500 - 5,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). While Aleppo Pepper is considered a medium range chile the heat builds slowly hitting first the back of your throat before quickly dissipating to a tinge of sour and sweet. The flavor is complex, fruity and raisin-like with an undertone of earthy cumin and just a hint of salty vinegar. The aroma is reminiscent of sun-dried tomatoes. Some have described this chile as being a bit like an ancho chile but oilier and slightly salty (salt is sometimes used in the drying process). Our Aleppo Pepper is not processed using salt.
Aleppo Pepper is at home in both savory and sweet dishes.
Use Aleppo pepper for authentic chile flavor in any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dish such as baba ghanoush, hummus and kabobs (or just about any other grilled meat). It can also be used as a substitute for crushed red pepper, paprika or cayenne pepper. We like to mix it in with our Mediterranean Dry Rub for just a little extra kick.
We’ had several of our restaurant chef customers requesting this chile pepper so we had to find a good source for these and this will quickly become one of your kitchen favorites.
Aleppo’s complexity works well with cinnamon, coriander, cumin and oregano.
Aleppo Pepper pairs well with eggs, pasta, pizzas, salads (especially chicken, pasta, potato and tuna), soups, baked winter squash or any tomato based recipe. You’ll find it as a heavenly addition to the grill on burgers, chicken, kabobs, pork chops and steaks. It can also quickly become a secret ingredient in your own rubs and marinades.
I don’t think that it plays particularly well with vegetables as they are easily overpowered. Aleppo is an excellent chile pepper for the baker and partners extraordinarily well with the spiciness of cinnamon. Its acidity and heat also perfectly balances with chocolate and sugar which makes it an unexpected star in brownies, hot chocolate and spiced nuts.
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