Dried Chili Pepper Facts
Where are chilies cultivated?
Chilies are found all over the world, but the largest grower and producer of chilies is India, contributing 25% of the world’s total production. Today, India is known not just for growing the most chilies but also growing the hottest chilies on the market. The more mild capsicum varieties and blends, like paprika, chili pepper, and chili powder, are primarily grown in the southwestern United States, China, and Peru.
Applications of Chilies
So, what can chilis be used for? Chilis have many applications, including:
- Adding ancho chili powder to meat, vegetables, and beans for a moderate level of heat
- Blending cayenne red pepper powder with vinegar to create a liquid hot sauce
- Sprinkling chili powder alamo into a barbeque sauce, taco blend, or chili
- Incorporating chili powder in sauces, rubs, dips and condiments
- Include paprika in applications where you want a deep red hue
History of Chilies
The history of chilies is very long — going back to 7000 B.C. Grown and cultivated as far back as 3500 years ago in North and Central America, Mexico, in particular, has long used these flavorful and spicy fruits to add heat to their food. When Columbus first traveled to the Americas, he brought a variety of spices, including chili peppers, back to Spain, where it became a common spice used in many European cuisines.
Over the years, chili plants have been cultivated to create new varieties through cross-breeding. Now, there are more than 400 different varieties of chilies found all over the world today. In 1912, Wilbur L. Scoville, a pharmacist, created a new method to measure the pungency of chilies, known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test. Today it is still the most accurate method for determining a chili’s flavor profile.
Types of Chili Products
Are you looking for ways to incorporate chilis on a larger scale? There are several products to help you get started.
Ancho Chili Pepper: Our ancho chili pepper powder is brick red and made from ripe poblano peppers that have been dried and powdered. Slight smoky in taste, they have a moderate heat level. Shop Bulk Ancho Chili Pepper Now→
Cayenne Red Pepper 30K: This bright red powder packs a high-heat flavor with just a hint of fruitiness. Use this spice as a bold addition to Southern, Caribbean, Mexican, South American, and Indian cuisines. Shop Bulk Cayenne Red Pepper 30K Now→
Chili Pepper: Olam’s famous chili pepper powder brings red hot flavor to any recipe. Ideal for making any food spicy hot, our bulk chili pepper is also great in spicy Chinese or Korean sauces.
Chili Powder Alamo: This medium roast chili powder is a finely ground, brick red blend that includes Olam chili peppers, salt, and a dash of cumin.
Chili Powder S&S Santa Irradiated: This medium roast chili powder has a medium heat flavor profile and is flame red in color. A great addition to dips, marinades, and dressings, this chili powder combines chili peppers, garlic powder, salt, and a dash of cumin. Shop Bulk Chili Powder S&S Santa Irradiated Now
Chili Powder: What do you get when you blend our medium heat chili peppers with salt and cumin? The perfect base for your next pot of chili, meat rub, or plant-based protein dish. Also perfect for flavoring corn side dishes. Shop Bulk Chili Powder Now→
Chili Powder La Mesa Irradiated: Low-heat and caramelized, this chili powder blend includes chili peppers, salt, and garlic. Great for sauces, meat preparations, and plant-based proteins. Shop Bulk Chili Powder La Mesa Now→
What is chili pepper?
Chili peppers are the generic name of fruits from the plants under genus Capsicum. They include many varietals, and can vary in size, shape, heat, color, etc. When fresh, they can be eaten raw, or prepared with cheese filling like in a chile relleno. When dried, either naturally in the sun or a mechanical dehydrator, the fruits (pods) are typically milled down into a powder which can be used in sauces, relish, or spice blends. Generally, when speaking of chile with a "e", some chiliheads refer to a specific chile pepper pod or fruit, whereas chili with "I" refers to the dish made with chile.
How hot is a chili pepper?
Depending on the varietals, they could be sweet (no heat) like a bell pepper to extremely hot like a habanero or scorpion pepper. These days, pungency is determined by measurement of capsaicin using an extraction read using a HPLC. Before this development, it use to be done with a series of dilutions and tasters. This method was developed by a pharmacist named Scoville. His name is still synonymous with heat rating in peppers.
What is the mildest chili pepper?
A bell pepper or a paprika variety.
How do you preserve chili peppers?
Fresh peppers could be frozen, brined or pickled. The common commercialized method is to dehydrate them. Dried, they should be kept out of direct sunlight, and could be kept for up to a year. If ground, color holds up very well if refrigerated.
Is chili pepper healthy?
Very healthy. Contains high quantities of Vitamin A and C. Also fiber and other trace vitamins. No fat and no sugar.
Where do chili peppers come from?
It is believed to have originated in South America. As birds fed on the pepper fruits, they naturally spread the seeds wherever they flew. Also, European explorers who traveled to the this area also took back fruits to their native countries. As such, these plants were found to grow easily, and could be planted in most regions.
How much chili powder equals one chili pepper?
It depends on the pepper variety. The peppers commonly commercialized at Olam are Anaheim/New Mexico varietals. These varieties we have more experience with. As a green, immature pepper, there is more water in the fruit than when it becomes matured and ripe. Ripe meaning when it turns red. A dried pepper average was 0.5 g vs a raw pepper at ~45 g. For another example, a fresh jalapeno (including the hollow cavity space) equates to 10x more mass than it’s equivalent, dehydrated powder form.