Dried Ghost Peppers
Inventory, lb : 2.00
This item was last sold on : 06/04/23
Dried Ghost chile peppers are small and compressed, shriveled pods that bear a wrinkled, folded, and textured appearance. The flat pods are brittle and delicate to the touch, crumbling and cracking under pressure, and generally range in color from dark red, red-brown, to orange. Underneath the grooved surface, the pod contains a hollow cavity encasing many small and circular, yellow-brown seeds. Dried Ghost chile peppers develop concentrated flavors and an aromatic complexity that is more robust than their fresh counterpart. The peppers contain savory-sweet notes of smoke, fruit, and earth mixed with a piquant bitterness, followed by an intense, sometimes overpowering heat that lingers on the palate.
Dried Ghost chile peppers are available year-round.
Dried Ghost chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum chinense, are dehydrated versions of the fiery Asian pepper belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Ghost chile peppers have been used among local tribes in Northeastern India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh as a culinary flavoring for hundreds of years, but the peppers remained relatively unknown to commercial markets worldwide until the early 21st century. Once the peppers were publicized, they became recognized as one of the hottest peppers in the world and attracted chile pepper enthusiasts as a specialty home garden cultivar. Ghost peppers were also one of the first varieties labeled as a “superhot” and range 855,000 to 1,041,427 SHU on the Scoville scale. There are several varieties of Ghost chile peppers used for culinary purposes. The red peppers are the most commonly dried type as they are believed to contain the richest flavor. Drying Ghost chile peppers extends the pepper’s shelf life and allows chefs and home cooks to utilize the pods year-round in a wide variety of preparations. When incorporating Dried Ghost chile peppers, only a little should be added at a time, as the pepper has a delayed spiciness that surprises with its powerful heat, sometimes lingering in the throat and mouth for up to thirty minutes after consumption.
Ghost chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The peppers also provide vitamin D to help with calcium absorption to protect bones, and contain a high amount of capsaicin. This chemical compound triggers the brain to feel the sensation of heat or spice. Capsaicin has many anti-inflammatory properties to help settle stomach acid, decrease allergy symptoms, and reduce digestive irregularities.
Dried Ghost chile peppers have a concentrated, unique fruity flavor and intense heat that should be used sparingly in culinary preparations. The peppers can be ground into a powder and used as a spice similar to cayenne, lightly sprinkled into sauces, marinades, salsa, chutney, and relish, or the powder can be rubbed over grilled meats. When handling the dried peppers, goggles and gloves should be worn to prevent irritation of the eyes, nose, and skin, and it is important to note that too much of the pepper can render a dish inedible. Dried Ghost chile peppers can also be rehydrated by soaking in warm water for at least twenty minutes. Once reconstituted, the peppers can be blended into hot sauces, cooked into soups, chiles, curries, and stews, or simmered into jellies and marmalades. Ghost chile peppers can also be pickled, ground and mixed into burger patties, incorporated into desserts such as sorbet, or infused into oils. When using the pepper’s intense heat, it is recommended to utilize citrus to complement and help reduce the intense taste. Ghost chile peppers also pair well with fruits such as mango, pineapple, raspberry, peaches, and bananas, meats including beef, pork, and fish, aromatics such as ginger, garlic, and onions, and herbs such as cilantro, basil, and mint. The dried peppers will keep 1 to 2 years when stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark location.
Ghost chile peppers are deeply intertwined into the culture and cuisine of the Kuki, a diverse people group found in small settlements across the hills and jungles of Northeastern India. The peppers have been grown for centuries among the Kuki, produced in large quantities throughout the villages and home gardens. Ghost chile peppers were traditionally used as a substitute for oil and spices in culinary dishes, and the region’s unique climate contributes to the pepper’s scorching heat. Regions of Northeastern India can reach over 54 degrees Celsius, or 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sunny, humid jungle atmosphere gives Ghost chile peppers their heat. Among the Kukis, Ghost chile peppers are known as Malcha-pom and are commonly incorporated into stews, curries, rice dishes, and rubbed over meats. A condiment known as an-kam-thu is also made with chile peppers and mustard seeds to create a fiery appetite stimulant. Ghost chile peppers increase digestion and reduce body heat, as the spicy peppers induce sweating and circulation, eventually releasing moisture to lower temperature. Beyond medicinal and culinary preparations, Ghost chile peppers have become a symbol of resistance and power for the Kukis. One of the most unusual ways the Kukis used the pepper was as a type of smoke bomb. The peppers were tied to a log, set on fire, and thrown into neighboring villages as a flaming declaration of war.
Ghost chile peppers are native to Asia, specifically Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Northeastern India in the regions of Manipur, Assam, and Nagaland. The peppers were developed from other pepper varieties introduced from South America into Asia in the 15th and 16th centuries and remained localized to small villages until the early 21st century. Ghost chile peppers received worldwide recognition in 2000 when they were tested using Scoville measurements by the Indian Defense Department and were the first pepper to reach a one million Scoville rating. For several years after this rating, Ghost peppers were regarded as one of the hottest peppers on earth, and the variety spread in cultivation as a culinary ingredient and spicey novelty. Dried Ghost chile peppers have been present since the pepper’s discovery and are an ancient method used to preserve the plant’s prolific pod harvest. Today Dried Ghost chile peppers are produced as a specialty variety, sold through local markets, select grocers, online retailers, and distributors worldwide.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Dried Ghost Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
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