Everyone’s Talking about These Calabrian Chilis, so We Tried Them out OurselvesSeptember 4, 2019
Calabrian chilis are peppers from the Calabria region in southern Italy. The area, which enjoys a sunny Mediterranean climate, produces several varieties that differ in length, color, and heat level. The most popular ones, though, are often long, bright red-ish, and has a Scoville Heat Scale level ranging from 25,000 to 40,000. It’s common to see them sold in bottles, following the Calabrian tradition of preserving food in olive oil.
Calabrian chilis are regularly used in Italian cuisine to add some heat to different dishes. It’s already probably in every pantry in Italy; but late last year, it crossed into the US. It was being recommended left and right by chefs and food personalities. Restaurants were adding it into their menus. Soon enough, home cooks were buying them from the nearest Italian grocery (or ordering them from Amazon).
Naturally, on our culinary director’s recent trip to Seattle, she picked up a bottle. She got (crushed) Calabrian chilis made by Tutto Calabria, one of the first companies (est. 1970’s) to package and export the stuff, as well as other Calabrian products.
Aside from being spicy, it exhibits a bright, fruity flavor, and a hint of smokiness. You can throw it onto practically anything—pizza, pasta, meat, seafood, etc. But more than just an ingredient, it works well as a condiment, too. Drizzle some of the oil onto whatever you have prepared for some added depth.