Aleppo pepper, Pul Biber chili flakes, a specialty from Turkey
- Aleppo pepper tastes like fruity tomatoes, accompanied by a mild spiciness.
- Also known as Pul Biber, the chili flakes taste soft with sweet and slightly smoky notes.
What is Aleppo Pepper?
From a botanical point of view, Aleppo pepper is not a pepper variety (piper nigrum). Instead, it is a typical Turkish / Syrian spice preparation made of the so-called Spanish pepper. Although the name is a bit confusing, it comes from old English records and means the plant group of the nightshade family CAPSICUM annuum. These are a variety of bell peppers and chili varieties.
Where does Pul Biber come from?
The original plant family Capsicum Annuum = Spanish pepper came from South & Central America and was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus and then found its way to the border area between Turkey and Syria near the city of Aleppo.
Cultivation, harvest, processing
The climate in this region is ideal for the ripening of the elongated peppers. Here they are grown according to the tried and tested techniques of the settlers near the city of Aleppo. In traditional craftsmanship, the harvest occurs when the peppers have reached their maximum degree of ripeness and glow red to burgundy-red.
After the harvest, the workers remove the seeds of the Aleppo chili and let them dry a little before processing them with salt and oil.
What are the characteristics of Aleppo pepper?
It is its typical oriental aroma. Pul Biber tastes deliciously fruity and, at the same time, a bit spicy with smoky components. The taste is reminiscent of our sun-dried tomato powder, refined with cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt.
It owes its magical red color to the subsequent processing by lightly marinating with oil and salt.
Aleppo chili in the Middle Eastern world
Aleppo pepper is a widespread spice in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. At the European and American levels, cooking programs use this spice since 1994. Countries of origin use this spice for dishes called Acuka, Muhammara, Ful Medames, and Lamm-Köfte. In the Mediterranean region of the Middle East, it is a spice that has taken the place of salt and pepper. Aleppo pepper does not overlap with other flavors but enhances them. In Armenia, it is called Halebi Biber, but the name has Arabic roots.
Processing technology and mandatory ingredients
Salt and vegetable oil are added to the Aleppo pepper during processing. They are an integral part and essential for the maturation of the taste and its consistency. Since the chili is not entirely dried after harvest, it contains a high content of essential oils. Therefore it is mixed with salt and oil to preserve and intensify its flavor. The salt also prevents clumping and extends the shelf life of the spice.
Mixing took place over the centuries as it was the healthiest and most usable form of storing the product.
Aleppo chili flakes go well with many aromatic herbs and various spices. For example, you may combine them with oregano, thyme, garlic, cumin, or coriander.
In recent years, due to a destabilized and ongoing war situation in Syria, the Aleppo pepper has unfortunately only kept the city's name. As a result, the production of the spice relocated to Turkey. Unfortunately, many Syrian settlers, fed up with guerrilla warfare, preferred to give up their land. We hope to be able to return shortly to buy this spice direct from Syria.
After receiving the spice, we remind you that please transfer it to the spice containers to preserve the taste and aroma for months. Please always protect your herbs from direct sunlight, moisture, and heat. Ingredients: chili, sunflower oil 8%, salt 4%