Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Red Pepper Flakes
Red Pepper Flakes, Capsicum annuum, are also called chili flakes, red chili flakes and crushed red pepper.
What are Red Pepper Flakes
In the US, red pepper flakes, along with Parmesan cheese, is as common in pizza parlors and Italian style restaurants as salt and pepper is at most other restaurants. For many, Red Pepper Flakes is a key piece of the ideal pizza experience - they wouldn't dream of eating a slice without having first given a shake or two of Red Chili Flakes.
We're now in a time when specific chiles like Chipotle, Hatch, and Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles get star billing treatment on restaurant menus, online recipes and as a clean label ingredient. Makes you think - What the heck are red pepper flakes?
Today you can find chile flakes from a single varietal pepper used to express that chile’s unique flavor and some level of heat. Aleppo Chile Flakes (historically from Syria). Maras Pepper (Turkey). New Mexico Chile Flakes. Crushed red pepper on the other hand has historically been used for one purpose and one purpose only. Heat.
A shaker of Crushed Red Pepper often includes all parts of the pepper - the outer skins, the veins (the hottest part of any chile) and of course the seeds. The most common chiles used as the ubiquitous Red Pepper Flakes are some combination of Cayenne, De Arbol, Japones and Tien Tsin chiles. Our Red Pepper Flakes are made from the dried, pulverized fruit of Guntur Sanam and Cayenne chiles.
Some red pepper flakes are hotter than others, depending upon the chiles used by that supplier, so cooks who haven't used them before or who are trying out a new supplier should be cautious when adding them to a dish for the first time. Remember you can always add more if a dish isn't spicy enough.
We have a growing collection (more than 15) of out-of-the-ordinary chile flakes that you might want to take a look at. These run the gamut on both flavor profiles and heat levels.
History of Red Pepper Flakes
If you've ever visited northern Italy, you most likely have never came across Red Pepper Flakes making their way onto slices of pizza, and you'll not find them added to pasta either.
According to pizza historians (yes there is such a thing), the use of Red Pepper Flakes on pizza and pasta can be traced to the late 1800s in southern Italy, where the people of that region enjoyed adding a bit of spicy heat to their dishes (much more so than their northern countrymen). The south of Italy is known for their love of spicy hot Calabrian Chiles. Researchers who have studied early South Italian immigration to America have found that it was common for these early immigrants to grow hot peppers in their backyard gardens, so adding them to their home made pizza seems quite logical.
Lombardi's Pizza in New York is considered by many to be America's first pizzeria and opened in 1905. During their early years, they catered to the large South Italian immigrant population in New York, and their first pizzas were actually called "tomato pies". In a 2012 interview with John Brescio, the current owner of Lombardi's Pizza, he talked about the early use of red pepper flakes at the pizzeria - "We've always used them. In the beginning they were crumbled in a stainless steel bowl. And then there was a changeover in the 1950s to pepper flakes in the shakers".
Where are Our Crushed Red Pepper Flakes From?
The chiles used in our Red Pepper Flakes are grown in India.
What do Red Pepper Flakes Taste Like
Our Red Pepper Flakes will add some sharp, biting flavor.
Are Red Pepper Flakes Hot
These chile flakes are considered a high heat chile and come it at 30,000 – 35,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
Are Chili Flakes and Red Pepper Flakes the Same Thing
Yes they are and many home chefs will use both terms interchangeably when referring to them.
Tips from Our Kitchen
While most of us in this country associate Red Pepper Flakes with Italian food, they can actually be used to give a nice zing to a variety of cuisines and are an essential ingredient for many African, Chinese and Mexican dishes.
Crushed Red Pepper is for more than just pizza. While just about every pasta will benefit from a pinch (or two) of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, they can be used elsewhere. These are ideal when you want to perk up chili, chowders, pizza, pickling, salads, homemade sausage, sandwiches, soups, spaghetti sauce, stir-fries or vegetable recipes. Use as part of a spice rub. Try making some spicy pickles. Shake some into your next tofu stir-fry. Brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale roast beautifully when tossed with Red Pepper Flakes. When cooking with Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, add them at the beginning of the cooking time if you want a mellower heat that will permeate the entire dish. Add them at the end if you want the heat of the peppers to come in sharper bites.
Red Pepper Flakes work well in combination with most spices, lemon juice, lime juice and coconut milk and because they're typically a member of the nightshade family they pair very well with potatoes and tomatoes (there's that pizza tie-in again).
Some of our favorite recipes using red pepper flakes are Grilled Salmon Tacos , Satay Peanut Sauce, Flat Iron Steak, and Mango Chutney.
Some of our customers have told us they believe that the flavor of chile flakes lasts a bit longer if they are kept refrigerated. We keep our home supply of Red Pepper Flakes in a cool dark cabinet away from the heat of the stove and feel that works just fine.
Red Pepper Flakes Substitutions
If you're looking for a substitute in a recipe calling for red pepper flakes you can use ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder per ¾ teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes or you can use one small red chile pepper (i.e. a Thai Chile ) per each teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes.
** This product is certified kosher.
|Ingredients||Guntur Sanam and Cayenne Chiles|
|Also Called||Chili flakes, red chili flakes and crushed red pepper|
|Recommended Uses||Use in chili, chowders, pizza, pickling, salads, sausage, sandwiches, soups, sauces, stir-fries or vegetable recipes|
|Flavor Profile||Some sharp, biting flavor|
|Scoville Heat Units||30,000 - 35,000 SHU|
|Botanical Name||Capsicum annuum|
|Cuisine||African, Chinese and Mexican|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||India< /td>|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
Hungry for More Information
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*