With ruby-red flesh that gets crispy and wrinkled during drying, our Calabrian Chiles (pronounced "ka-LAH-bree-an CHILL-ees") offer playful heat and a surprising depth of flavor. Their fragrance is light and playful at first, full of fruit and berries, but it gives the hint of a something more with a rich back note that’s reminiscent of sun-dried tomatoes. They taste woody and warm, a bit of dark, dried fruit like raisin or plum, with a touch of smoke that wafts up to create a long and satisfying finish. These peppers have a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of 5,000-25,000 and are considered medium-to-hot.
Calabrian peppers are grown in Calabria, the hot, southern toe of Italy’s boot. Chiles came to Europe with Christopher Columbus at the start of the 16th century and were initially considered poisonous, but in less than 70 years were established in the cuisine of Italy’s south. Calabrians love their peppers. Today, these chiles are celebrated every year with the Festival del Peperoncino (Festival of the Hot Peppers), a five-day long event that began in 1992, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s expedition to the New World. The festival is held in the Calabrian city of Diamante and can draw up to 100,000 people. If you find yourself in Calabria but missed the festival, you can go just a few miles down the road to the neighboring town of Maierà and visit the Museo del Peperoncino (Museum of Hot Peppers). Located in a former ducal palace, the museum explores 9,000 years of chile peppers and traces the way peppers have traveled the globe.
Tips From Our Kitchen
Calabrian Chiles are incredibly versatile. They have a natural affinity for sweet tomatoes, so to embrace a spicy pasta sauce, grind peppers into flakes, mix with tomatoes, and simmer until slightly thick and totally delicious. Process chiles into a paste with olive oil and garlic, and use as a dipping condiment, or stir into mayonnaise for a spicy aioli. Spread that aioli on sandwiches and wraps, like a muffuletta. Warm up some honey—stir to prevent burning—and add Calabrian chiles for sweet, smoky heat that is terrific drizzled on just about anything, from chicken to fish, to vanilla or chocolate ice cream, for the daring. Swap out standard red pepper flakes for ground Calabrian chiles in this broccoli and sun-dried tomato pasta, or in anything to which you want to add a bit of smoky heat.
Our Calabrian Chiles are cultivated in Italy.
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Serving Size1 ounce
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*