fbpx

Aleppo Pepper Uncovered

Understanding Spices

What is Aleppo pepper?

Named after the Syrian city of Aleppo, you’ll also find this chilli going by the name of pul biber, Halaby pepper or Turkish red pepper flakes. A variety of Capsicum annuum, the spice is made from dried and coarsely ground Halaby chillies. It has a fruity, tangy, smoky and cumin-like flavour, with hints of tomato, citrus and raisin. It’s a moderately spicy chilli, ranking at about 10,000 Scoville Heat Units with a heat that builds slowly. For comparison, jalapenos rank between 2500 to 5000 Scoville Heat Units.

The Aleppo pepper is a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. In fact, Aleppo pepper comes in right under salt and pepper as the most commonly used spice in Turkey. The peppers are traditionally sun-dried with a bit of salt and sometimes olive oil, resulting in chilli flakes which are slightly salty and oily.

A brief history of Aleppo pepper

In the 15th century, European explorers brought chillies over from the Americas to Europe. The crop soon made its way across the Ottoman Empire, part of which include modern-day Turkey and Syria where the Aleppo pepper was born. Here, it was grown by Christian and Muslim Arab farmers and traded along the Silk Road.

Today, the Aleppo pepper is mostly grown in Turkey. Due to the ongoing conflicts in Syria, many growers moved their operations north across the border. In fact, Aleppo peppers were among $550 million worth of crops destroyed in and around Aleppo each year between 2011 and 2016, according to a 2017 assessment by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

How do you use Aleppo pepper?

You can use Aleppo pepper in any dish you want to add a complex heat to. Naturally, it works really well in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes like Turkish eggs, muhammara (Syrian red pepper and walnut dip), hummus and ful medames (Egyptian stewed fava beans).

Next time you have the barbecue going, try adding a pinch to rubs and marinades for a delicious kick. Combine it with garlic powder, sugar and spices like turmeric and cumin to elevate grilled meats like chicken and shish kebabs.

You can also use Aleppo pepper as a condiment. Simply mix it with olive oil and use it as a dip for flatbreads. Alternatively, sprinkle a little on your eggs, avocado toast, roasted vegetables, pasta or even on your cheese toastie.

Don’t just use it for cooked meals—the great thing about Aleppo pepper is that you can get really creative with it. If you’re feeling peckish, make a bowl of popcorn and sprinkle Aleppo pepper over it, or swap out the salt and use it to rim margarita glasses for a spicy kick.

Recipe suggestions

Keen to try it out? You can find Aleppo pepper on our website here. Here are some great recipes which use the spice:

Aleppo Pepper

You may also like to read

Last order dates for Christmas 2023

News

We want to make sure we do everything we can to get your Christmas gifts & ingredients to you in time. Order by the dates below to guarantee that we...

Read More

A Guide To Choosing Biodegradable Wedding Confetti

Understanding Spices

Confetti is an essential part of any wedding day. Not only is it a wonderful way to greet a newlywed couple, but it also provides some beautiful photo opportunities. The...

Read More

10 Unique Edible Gifts

Seasonal Ideas

It’s no secret that any handmade gift will always be more special than a store-bought one. Homemade food gifts are especially wonderful, a labour of love that shows someone you...

Read More

Healthy Winter Comfort Foods

Health and Wellbeing

It’s no secret that winter’s cold and gloomy weather makes us crave indulgent dishes like fondue and baked goods like sticky toffee pudding and apple crumble. While Christmas is the...

Read More