Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Playing Russian roulette with Pimientos de Padrón or green Padrón chiles

Padron Roulette :)

I addition to all those lovely tomatoes, we've got a pretty good crop of Padrón peppers (Pimientos de Padrón) and various aubergines/eggplants from our greenhouse. Last weekend we met up with some friends and roasted some of the green chiles, then drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled sea salt flakes on top. It's a popular tapas-dish in Spain, and the added excitement is that while most of this green chillies are rather mild, then about one in ten is fiery hot (hence the nick-name "Russian roulette peppers").

When I first had these at Johanna's place couple of years ago, I didn't encounter a single hot one. Now we didn't have any mild ones - they were all oh-so-hot! Not such a roulette after all :D This can be explained by the timing - we visited Johanna in April (early in the season), and now ate our own crop in August (late in the season) - young and new Padrońs are generally mild, and 'old' ones hot.

Padrón Chillies are originally from Mexico, but are named after a town in Galicia, Spain, where they first started to cultivate these chillies in Europe.

9 comments:

Cooking in Mexico said...

I have never heard of, or seen, Padrón chiles in Mexico. They are not in the stores. Mexican cooks that I know don't use them. Are you sure this chile is not originally from Spain?

Kathleen

Pille said...

Kathleen, several sources that I consulted stated that these were "native to Mexico" and were then brought to Spain, where they are now very popular. Who knows!?

David T. Macknet said...

Native to the Americas, are chiles. There are hundreds of varieties, and they all originate in the Americas.

Looking tasty, Pille!

MeetaK said...

My absolute favorite thing at our Tapas bar! Unfortunately I do not find them often at the grocery store here to make them myself. But I like the game - with a vodka or two to burn out the fire! LOL!

ChichaJo said...

I've only had these in Spain and I love them...have never had a hot one yet :) How lucky you are to have them in your very own greenhouse!

Cooking in Mexico said...

David,

Yes, chiles originated in the Americas, but some have been developed in other countries.

For instance, the Hungarian Wax Pepper was developed in Hungary and the Korean Hot Pepper is a hybrid from Korea. It is possible the Padrón chile is from Spain, given that it shares its name with a municipality in Spain.

"The pepper's cultivating origins lay in Herbón, whose monastery near the town of Padron in Galicia was where Franciscans apparently first tried growing the pepper seeds they’d brought back from the New World in the 18th century."
http://www.specialtyproduce.com/index.php?item=5211

Kathleen

Victor Chisholm said...

I like hot peppers, and I seem to recall hearing from other chile-heads that if the plant gets stressed -- for example, drying out -- then the peppers are hotter. So next year if you want your peppers milder, avoiding letting them dry out too much might help. (Or maybe you just have a hot strain / batch. :-) )

thepassionatecook said...

i used to live in mexico and never came across them - but chiles in gerneral were certainly a gift the spaniards brought home from mexico!

i haven't found any spicy ones lately, and i love them spicy, send me some of yours!

seglare said...

I have these very same peppers growing at my parents' place - I'm still waiting to see if they make it before the fall really comes...
They're impossible to find in the stores here, so I'm hoping to get at least a couple of peppers to taste this year. ;)