Tuesday, January 23, 2007

#95: Piparras (Peppers from Spain)

Ingredients: Piparras, vinegar, salt, citric acid, ascorbic acid.
100% natural containing no preservatives or artificial flavors.

On my quest to taste as many food as possible on Food & Wine Magazine's 100 Tastes to try in 2007, I found myself ordering Spanish Matiz Piparras from Casa Oliver for $6.50 a jar. Piparras are a traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country of Spain. They are noted by Food & Wine as a food that is only recently available in the United States.

Kate at Kate in the Kitchen was the first to taste these peppers. She ate them with rustic bread and sprinkled them with olive oil and salt. She liked them but I was a bit skeptical since she described them as having a vinegary taste.

I had the jar sitting in my cabinet for about a week because I hadn't decided how I wanted to try them. I know it needed more than bread for me because I only like sweet peppers that way. Casa Oliver says "they make a wonderful accompaniment to Bonito tuna and smoked fish." So last night I finally grabbed them to add to my leftover red snapper. Before I mixed it into the salsa I ate one raw. NOT my thing! There is nothing about that pepper that I liked to eat it alone. It was nice mixed in with the sweetness of the fruit in my salsa because it added a different flavor.

So tonight I went all out and tried them again. This time I took six out of the jar, covered them with Greek Olive Oil and lots of salt. I had the same reaction with the first one I ate - ick! The flavor is just overpowering. But by the time I got to the third one, they weren't so jarring anymore and by the time I got to my sixth one I decided I liked them. My mouth just needed to warm up to them. And they are a bit spicy, it just doesn't hit you until you have a few.

There is one thing I think they would be perfect for. Hotdogs! Chicago-style hotdogs are served up on a poppy seed bun topped with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt (and NO ketchup). Piparras taste almost exactly like those "sport peppers" except without the immediate heat.


8 comments:

Anna said...

it may sound silly, but i am inspired by the way you didn't give up on the peppers even though you didn't care for them immediately.

rachel said...

Thanks Anna! Well, I am stuck with a whole jar and the fact that F&W called them out on their list so I thought I might be missing something :)

Elle said...

That Chicago Hot Dog idea sounds about right for these peppers. Would they also go with Italian sausages? Maybe with some Jack or Pepper Jack cheese? On a crusty roll....

Kristen said...

OK - at the rate you are going you will be done with all 100 by the time spring gets here! You make me look like a slacker ;)

rachel said...

elle - italian sausage would be PERFECT! also, italian beef sandwiches. yeah! your giving me ideas to use up that jar :)

Kate said...

Oh relax Kristen.... Rachel is flyin' by me in her quest....she is relentless!! ;-)

I also thought the peppers grew a bit on me as I ate them, and I totally agree that they would ROCK on a hot dog.

Oh wait....I HATE hot dogs!

Ulrike aka ostwestwind said...

Hello Rachel, thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment. But I think you can't get this kind of shrimps in the US. This kind grows only in European Seas. They are small and more tasty than others. I tried other shrimps with eggs, but it's not the same ;-(

Boston1955 said...

I'm from Spain, in Barcelona, your blog is very nice, sorry my english is horrible.
Bye.