Dried Strawberry Peppers
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Dried Strawberry peppers are small, uniform pods with a round, oval, or heart-shaped appearance attached to dark green, fibrous stems. The fresh peppers ripen from green to dark red when mature, and once mature, the pods are dried until they have a wrinkled, creased appearance. Underneath the surface, the dried flesh is medium-thick and pale red-orange, encasing a central cavity filled with many round and flat, cream-colored to yellow seeds. Dried Strawberry peppers are sweet with a sharp, moderate to hot level of spice.
Dried Strawberry peppers are available year-round.
Dried Strawberry peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are small, uniquely shaped pods that belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as Byala Kambichka peppers, Strawberry peppers are believed to be a variety of hot cherry pepper that was first grown in Bulgaria. The early-season peppers are used both fresh and dried, and contain a moderate to hot level of spice, ranging 30,000-50,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Strawberry peppers are a popular specialty variety grown in home gardens for their small and compact nature and prolific pod production throughout the season. The pods are commonly dried for extended use and are either rehydrated for flavoring sauces or are ground into a seasoning.
Dried Strawberry peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and build collagen within the skin. The peppers also contain vitamin A, iron, and small amounts of capsaicin, which is a compound that has been shown to help stimulate the circulatory system and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
Dried Strawberry chile peppers, when rehydrated, are best suited for cooked applications such as boiling. The reconstituted peppers can be chopped into salsas, blended into sauces, or used to flavor marinades and salad dressing. Dried Strawberry peppers can also be tossed into soups, stews, and chilis, or ground into flakes or powder and used as a seasoning on cooked meats, in casseroles, on pasta, on pizza, and in rice dishes. Dried Strawberry chile peppers pair well with meats such as sausage, prosciutto, pork, and bacon, tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, garlic, beans, spices such as cumin and paprika, and herbs such as basil, cilantro, mint, parsley, and oregano. The peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when loosely stored unwashed and whole in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator.
In the town of Levski, Bulgaria, there is an annual event known as The Stuffed Pepper Festival that honors one of the most popular dishes of the country. Each August, visitors and locals gather to celebrate the many variations of stuffed peppers and showcase family recipes throughout the festival. The peppers are commonly stuffed with cheeses, rice, and meats, and each family has their own secret ingredients and preferred variety of peppers. When fresh, Strawberry peppers are a favored variety for stuffing and are often served with a sauce made from yogurt, egg, and flour. They are also commonly pickled and served as a spicy condiment.
Dried Strawberry peppers are descendants of original peppers native to regions of South America and Central America. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the original pepper cultivars were introduced to Europe and Asia via Spanish and Portuguese explorers, and as peppers increased in popularity, many new varieties were developed and selected to meet changing market demands. The exact origins of Dried Strawberry peppers are unknown, but it is believed that the pepper is a type of hot cherry pepper variety that was developed in Bulgaria. Today Dried Strawberry peppers are a favored home garden variety and are found in Europe and Central Asia.