Criolla Sella Chile Peppers
Inventory, lb : 0
Criolla Sella chile peppers are small, short, and slender pods, averaging 4 to 5 centimeters in length and 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter, and have a conical shape that tapes to a distinct point on the non-stem end. The bullet-shaped pods ripen from green, yellow-orange, to deep orange when mature and the skin is smooth, taut, thin, and waxy. Underneath the surface, the semi-thick flesh is crisp and orange, encasing a narrow central cavity filled with a few round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Criolla Sella chile peppers are tangy-sweet with aromatic notes of citrus and mango and offer a moderate to hot level of spice that lingers on the back of the tongue.
Criolla Sella chile peppers are available in the late summer through fall.
Criolla Sella chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum baccatum, are an heirloom variety that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as Aji Criolla Sella, Criolla Sella chile peppers are a moderately hot variety ranging 25,000-30,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. These small peppers are not commercially cultivated and are rare to find outside of their native region of the Andes mountains in South America. In the United States, Criolla Sella peppers are primarily grown in home gardens as a specialty variety and are favored for their high yields, small stature, and long growing season. The peppers are also popularly dried and used as a flavorful spice.
Criolla Sella chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium and contain essential minerals like calcium and iron. The peppers are also a good source of vitamins C and D, dietary fiber, and flavonoids, which provide antioxidant benefits.
Criolla Sella chile peppers can be used raw, but they are more commonly dried, ground into a powder, and used as a spice. When fresh, the peppers can be diced into salsas, salads, layered in sandwiches, or cooked into hot sauces. Their citrusy flavor also pairs well with tropical fruit, ceviche, and are used to infuse oils for cooking. To preserve and extend the pepper’s storage life, Criolla Sella chile peppers are popularly dried and ground into a powder. This powder is used to flavor stir-fries, soups, stews, sauces, rubs, or any dish where a bit of spice is desired. It can also be used to flavor gravies, rice dishes, noodle dishes, and tacos. Criolla Sella chile peppers pair well with red cabbage, cucumber, carrots, jackfruit, lime, meats such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, and herbs such as oregano, cilantro, and thyme. Fresh peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when loosely stored whole and unwashed in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Once traditionally reserved to Bolivian cuisine, Criolla Sella chile pepper flakes have become a unique flavoring used in both home cooking and at restaurants in the United States. Grown on a small scale through specialty farms, Criolla Sella chile peppers are being sourced to 2017 James Beard Award winner Rebecca Wilcomb’s restaurant Herbsaint for her signature chile powder in New Orleans. Over forty pounds of Criolla Sella peppers are dried and ground into a powder along with ingredients such as paprika, other chile peppers, and cumin. Wilcomb developed the powder to create complex a blend of citrus and spice to enhance traditional Louisiana cooking. Many self-professed “chile heads” are also drying and making their own powder out of Criolla Sella as a homemade spice and are sharing recipes via social media platforms and blogs.
Criolla Sella chile peppers are native to the Bolivian Andes in western South America and have been cultivated since ancient times. Outside of the Andes Mountain region, the hot, orange-yellow peppers are rare to find in markets. The seeds are primarily available through online catalogs and are sold for home garden use. Criolla Sella chile peppers may also be spotted at farmer’s markets through small farms in Central America and the United States.
Recipes that include Criolla Sella Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|North Park Homestead||Criolla Sella Infused Oil|
|Our Maker's Acres Family Farm||Criolla Sella Ground Pepper|