2 thoughts on “Contact”

  1. Taylor Frost said:

    I implore you to try a pepper I recently came upon. A coworker of mine brought in some small, slighlty round red peppers that his friend’s mother had grown in her garden here in Los Angeles. They sat around for a day or two until someone mentioned the idea of making hot sauce. Being a chef, I felt pretty comfortable with the task and thought I’d try it out. The peppers were extremely ripe, some a bit mushy on the end, but I figured that was probably good for this purpose. I opened up the pepper and found dark black seeds, something I had never seen! Instead of being sensible and adding the seeds to adjust for heat, I threw them all in the pot I was using for the sauce. A little carrot, tomato paste, vinegar, salt and sugar and I had this thick, bright crimson sauce, which after being pureed, had these cool looking black specks from the seeds. Now, I had a feeling this would be spicy, based on my ratios used in the process. Even while spraying out the pot I made it in, my senses were aflame momentarily. But nothing could have prepared me for the truth…

    A few days later, after the sauce had some time to come together a little bit, I opened it up and tried some on a tortilla chip. First, a lightly tangy, pleasant rich flavor…. then SMACK!!!! Hellfire! Inferno! I drank milk, I drank water, I put ice cubes in my mouth. Nothing remedied the blaze that had been set in my mouth. A good amount of time later, I finally pulled myself together and decided to look up the culprit of my suffering. It’s called capsicum pubescens, or Rocoto Rojo,(aka Manzano, for its apple-like shape and dark seeds). Native to the Peruvian Andes, these are some of the hottest chili peppers in the world. They stand up remarkably well to cold temperatures, though cannot withstand hard frost.

    I strongly recommend this for cooking, while being aware of your heat levels as you incorporate the seeds. Delicious flavor!! Now it has been several weeks and the sauce is absolutely delicious.

    • I actually have some rocoto seeds. I’ll have to grow some next season. My peps are all just starting to ripen now, so I should be making quite a bit of hot sauce in the coming weeks.

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