Thursday, 26 April 2012

Piri Piri

Yet an other boring chilli, the Piri Piri?

Other then the often so often boring chillies you can get in the store here, you can get dried Piri Piri.
As it is something different, I am bound to try it, out of curiosity really.
It doesn't look nice, they are just little chillies all wrinkled up, and loosing colour every so often.
In short, not looking very attractive in my eyes.

On the positive side, it is a handy little chlli, that can be dropped in with a flick of the wrist.
Easy to use, as you can add one or two to a dish and let them simmer for some time.
For hot heads, you can use more for sure, only then they seem to have some good taste as well.

One time I was at a Chinese restaurant, and they had a dish that had one in every bite. . .
Flaming hot to say the least, but had good taste for sure.
That said, you have to use a load to not only spike the food, but to be able to taste the chillies flavour as well.
So, handy to make food hot, but not too much taste.

Out of curiosity again, I seeded one of the seeds out of one of them last year.
For a chilli plant it has little leaves, and looks more like a hedge really.
It has the tiniest flower buds in the axil of the leaves, that grow out to little flowers, and in some weeks the little chillies form that go red in about 2 months.
It is a beauty this plant, that you can sit and enjoy, just looking at it.

When it had a good few chillies, lovely red and shiny, I tasted one.
Good grief, that little chilli had me sweating in seconds, what a mistake to take a whole chilli even if it is that minute.
It had good taste though, really.
After my pellets calmed down a bit, taking a good 20 minutes, I sliced one open.
It is full off seeds, but I could cut a little piece between the seed lists.
That is the part in a chilli that has the least heat.
And it tasted great, really fruity and good herbs, a strong taste for sure.
Yeah, that made me open my eyes for the Piri Piri, I love it !!

I love it, but that said, the dried ones are about as interesting as cheap chilli powder.

Maybe this post will make you as curious as to

plant a seed from a rather boring dried chilli

Yours truly,

Bart J. Meijer

Chillies and where to start.

Chillies and where to start.

Well, for starters, I like spicy food.
Not over the hill hot mind, but hot and spicy I like.
I do tend to be careful with my taste buds, as I do not want to scorch them.

Now, as I live in Holland, I did try and find good chillies here.
But that seems to be a bit hard.
In the Netherlands, at the shops and supermarkets, they have red chillies.

They call them: Red Chillies or Spaanse peper in Holland.
Doesn't mind what sort it is, or name... If it is red, and it is a chili? Label it: red chili.
So quality and taste varies, and not by a bit.
Some taste like hot water, and some have so much more.
So, once I tasted a superb fruity nice chili with fabulous herb and nicely balanced sweets. It took me over 6 months to find its name: Medina F1. Now I have to tell you, that is one amazing chili !

So I had to search for real taste in chillies, and had to try, I just could not help myself.
I am like that you know, if I want to learn something, or taste something I want it all.
So, after getting about some 15 odd sorts, and tasting those I seem to be sold to idea to grow real chillies.
Some of these chillies were a bitter disappointment  as they were not what they promised to be.
Even some real Heirloom sorts, that have been grown for hundreds of years, did not taste that special.
Then again, a simple biologically grown yellow Cayenne had 10 times more taste then the water grown chillies you get in the shops here

Now one year later, I am learning that chillies are addictive.
And I am learning about myself that I tend to go over the hill. . . . .

I now have about 105 chilli varieties, all of them picked as they have a special taste, I hope.

One thing that really struck me, is that the chilli scene is that friendly.
I joined a few fora, and got offers from over the world for nice chilli seeds.
Expecting nothing in return, you get special seeds, and great advice how to grow them.
So all I have learned I share, and then some, and I start to feel like I am in a sort of hippy commune.
As I am getting known as a taste tester for wild chillies now ( that will be a new story ) people send me and promise to send me chillies to taste.
The ones I am not growing this year.
Mind you, there are more then 3000 varieties now.

I am growing chillies, and wonder how they will taste, plus how the ones I get send will taste.
Let's find out this year.

Yours truly

Bart J, Meijer