Red Pepper Flakes
Most Red Pepper Flakes are from the species Capsicum annuum, which is a member of the Solanaceae family (also known as the night shade family). In the US, pepper flakes, along with Parmesan cheese, has become as common in pizza parlors and Italian style restaurants as salt and pepper is at most other restaurants. For many, Red Pepper Flakes is a key piece of the ideal pizza experience – they wouldn’t dream of eating a slice without having first given a shake or two of red pepper flakes. To them, that would be like someone from Chicago or New York willingly giving up their cities claim to being home to the world’s best pizza.
A shaker of Pepper Flakes often includes all parts of the pepper – the outer skins, the veins (the hottest part of any chile) and of course the seeds.
Cooking with It
While most of us in this country associate Pepper Flakes with Italian food, they can actually be used to give a nice zing to a variety of cuisines and are an essential ingredient for many African, Chinese and Mexican dishes.
Pepper Flakes are ideal when you want to perk up chili, chowders, pizza, pickling, salads, homemade sausage, sandwiches, soups, spaghetti sauce, stir-fries or vegetable recipes.
Pepper Flakes work well in combination with most spices, lemon juice, lime juice and coconut milk and because they’re typically a member of the nightshade family they pair very well with potatoes and tomatoes (there’s that pizza tie-in again).
What Do Red Pepper Flakes Taste Like
Our Pepper Flakes will add some sharp, biting flavor.
Red Pepper Flake Substitutions and Helpful Hints
If you’re looking for a substitute in a recipe calling for pepper flakes you can use ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder per ¾ teaspoon of Pepper Flakes or you can use one small red chile pepper (i.e. a Thai Chile) per each teaspoon of Pepper Flakes.
Some of our customers have told us they believe that the flavor of chile flakes lasts a bit longer if they are kept refrigerated. We keep our home supply of Pepper Flakes in a cool dark cabinet away from the heat of the stove and feel that works just fine.