Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Most red pepper flakes are from the species Capsicum annuum. Our Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes come from the dried and pulverized fruits ofseveral types of chiles. Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae family) and are related to potatoes, eggplants, tomatillos and tomatoes. In this country, red pepper flakes have become as common in pizza parlors as salt and pepper is at most other restaurants. For most of us, red pepper flakes are an integral part of the pizza experience - you almost can't imagine having a slice without first giving a shake or two of these zippy flakes.
Red pepper flakes typically includes all parts of the pepper - the outer skins, the veins (the hottest part of any chile) and of course the seeds.
If you've ever visited northern Italy, it's highly unlikely that you came across red pepper flakes, let alone finding them served with pizza or in any tomato based sauce.
Pizza historians have traced the use of red pepper flakes on pizza and pasta back to the late 19th century in southern Italy. The southern Italians enjoyed adding spicy heat to their dishes (something their northern brethren would never do). The southern part of Italy is known for their spicy hot Pepperoncino chile. Food historians who've studied early southern Italian immigration to America have found that it was not unusual for these first generation immigrants to grow hot peppers from their home country in the backyard gardens of their new country. Adding them to their homemade pizza was a natural occurrence.
Considered by many to be America's first pizzeria, Lombardi's Pizza in New York opened their doors in 1905. During their first years in business they catered to the large southern Italian immigrant population in New York, with their first pizzas being known as "tomato pies". In a 2012 interview with John Brescio, the current owner of Lombardi's Pizza, he talked about red pepper flakes -- "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."
Now, for many of us in this country, we link red pepper flakes with pizza, but in other parts of the world they're used to provide a nice liveliness to a variety of cuisines and are an indispensable ingredient for many African, Chinese and Mexican dishes.
Use red pepper flakes to add zest to chili, chowders, pizza, pickling, salads, homemade sausage, sandwiches, soups, spaghetti sauce, stir-fries or vegetable recipes.
Red pepper flakes pair well with most spices, lemon juice, lime juice and coconut milk. Because they're typically a member of the nightshade family, they work well in combination with potatoes and tomatoes.
Some of our more popular recipes using red pepper flakes are Crab and Corn Chowder, Baked Ziti, Flat Iron Steak and Carrots with Parsley Pesto and Spicy Coconut Shrimp.
Not all red pepper flakes are the same depending on the chiles used by each supplier. Some red pepper flakes are hotter than others, so cooks who haven't used them before or who may be trying out a new supplier should be wary when using them for the first time. Remember you can always add more if a dish isn't spicy enough. The most common chiles used as the ubiquitous red pepper flakes are De Arbol chiles, Japones chiles and Tien Tsin chiles.
Our organic red pepper flakes will add some sharp, biting flavor.
The heat varies depending on the supplier you get your red pepper flakes from as they can use a wide variety of different chiles. We consider our Organic Red Pepper Flakes to be a hot chile with their heat level tipping the scales at 30,000-40,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
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 called for, or you can use 3-4 small red chile peppers (i.e. a Birdseye Chiles or Pequin Chile) per each teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
We get lots of questions about red pepper flakes. Here are some of the most common.
What's the difference between red pepper flakes and crushed red pepper?
There is no difference, as these terms are used interchangeably and are referring to the same thing.
What are the health benefits of red pepper flakes?
Red pepper flakes contain capsaicin, pronounced "cap say shin" (the compound that puts the hot in chile peppers), which may alleviate inflammation. In Ayurveda, the traditional form of Indian medicine as well as in Traditional Chinese Medicine (also referred to as ancient Chinese medicine), red peppers have historically been used to treat digestive problems, circulatory problems, infections and arthritis. Cultures that consume large amounts of chile peppers tend to have a much lower rates of heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms and strokes.
Do red pepper flakes last longer when stored in the refrigerator?
Some of our customers believe that the flavor of chile flakes lasts a bit longer if they're 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.
** This product is certified kosher.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*