Fresh Calabrian Peppers


I'm curious, does any one know where to get fresh Calabrian chiles? I've seen them in dried or oil form all over the place. But, fresh, I've never seen.

Yesterday while eating at a restaurant, I got a pizza with fresh Calabrian chiles. However, I suspect they were just red jalapenos. They seemed a little too big (circumference) to be a Calabrian chile.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted over 2 years ago

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Raj,

Have you tried Lucca Delicatessen on Chestnut Street? I could imagine that they carry them. Or perhaps A.G. Ferrari? I'd also check with Molinari Deli in North Beach.

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Mike K.
posted over 2 years ago

Come to think of it, if you can't find them at all I'd substitute them with either Fresno or red serrano peppers.

- Mike   over 2 years ago


Hi Mike, all of these places have the pickled or dried form. I get my Tutto Calabria paste and oil from Molinari. But I have yet to see fresh Calabrian chiles anywhere. It's almost like seeing canned San Marzanos, but not being able to find fresh ones.

I'm not looking for a replacement, but part of me is curious if I got served fresh Calabrian Chilis the other night. 99% sure I didn't. These were red jalapenos or fresnos.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted over 2 years ago


I think the only one who'd be able to help would be Chris at Venice Deli in Sausalito.

He's helped me before with specialty items. Let me ask him if he's able to get his hands on some fresh ones. I'll let you know.

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Mike K.
posted over 2 years ago


Raj,

You might be asking more than one question here. First, what peppers are generally grown in Calabria?, second, are peppers grown in Calabria available fresh in the US?, and third, are the same peppers grown somewhere now where I can find them fresh? On the first question (which is kinda definitional: is a Calabrian pepper a pepper actually grown in Calabria or a variety commonly grown there) the Baker's Creek seed catalog has a pepper called a Melrose pepper that they say is a variety grown in Calabria; another website has a pepper called picante calabrese; there might be others as well. On the second question, it might not be commercially viable to import fresh peppers from Italy, so I have doubts about whether you could find fresh peppers that were grown in Calabria. On the third question, if you can figure out the type, then you just need to ask around. It's a little early for locally grown peppers, but check the markets in a month or so. And try as many peppers as you can find, when they're in season, the variety is incredible.

Adam Sachs
posted over 2 years ago


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