Padron Peppers are a bite-sized and tasty classic from Galician cuisine. They are light green in color and range from 3.5 to 5.5 centimeters and are full of flavor. They are typical to enjoy as a tapa or share a plateful with friends.
You may be familiar with these peppers from the infamous warning of one pepper might be hotter than the rest. Here we will share the history and discover if this is a myth or true!
At Deliart Foods we love Padron peppers. Are you coming to discover them?
Where do Pimientos de Padron come from?
The pepper originated from the Convent of Herbón in Mexico and was known as Pimiento de Herbón. During the 17th century, monks brought the first seeds to Spain. These seeds made their way to Galicia, Spain and from there they have continued to cultivate the pepper.
The name changed to Pimiento de Padron due to the cultivation spot in Galicia. This area is situated close to the Atlantic Ocean and has multiple valleys giving it the perfect climate conditions. True Padrón-Herbón peppers are produced in Galicia and backed by the protected Denomination of Origin. While those grown in Andalusia, Murcia, Portugal or Morocco are classified as the Padron variety.
Are Pimientos de Padron truly hot?
Now, the biggest question has to be about the hotness of these padron peppers. One of the identifying characteristics is that occasionally you may bite down on one that has a certain degree of hotness.
Many people even try to guess if the pepper is spicy by examining certain characteristics such as size, shape, and color. But the truth is, there is no one defying feature.
The original plants had the capacity to produce “capsaicin” which is a natural substance that can give the peppers some heat. In theory, the same plant had the ability to produce both sweet and hot peppers. This was its way of protecting the fruit and seeds from predators. However, due to the many variations of this plant overtime, it has lost its capability to do so more frequently. Although it is still possible to find that rare hot pepper. So be careful!
Nowadays, the producer is able to spot spicy peppers when they manually select the unripe peppers from May to October.
The farmers use their senses to detect if the pepper is ready. If the pepper is harder then there is a higher likelihood that it is spicy. But this is not the only determining factor.
The level of spiciness really depends on the genetic characteristics of the variety as well as the environmental conditions. If you are unsure that a pepper might be spicy you can always bite the tip to see. Or you can enjoy it whole as part of a fun game of who can find the spicy pepper!
Pimientos de Padron recipe, keep it simple
The most typical way to cook Padron Peppers is by frying the entire pepper in olive oil and then topping it off with sea salt once finished cooking.
This Padron Pepper recipe is a show stopper. It is very simple yet delicious which is why it is a very common tapa.
These peppers also make for a great garnish to accompany the Spanish tortilla, grilled meat, and scrambled eggs with potatoes.
If you travel to Galicia, you can try more variations of this pepper thanks to chefs’ culinary masterpieces and skills. Some examples can be seen in stuffed peppers with cheese, baked in the oven, on toasts with sardines, and even in jams and jellies.
Where to find Pimientos de Padrón
Padron peppers are a seasonal summer product (from June to October) that you can enjoy in Galicia since the peppers have to be distributed and eaten quickly before spoiling.
Genuine Herbón peppers should be kept in the Galicia region based on their farm to market philosophy to ensure the best product. But with the commercialization of these peppers, it is common to see them all year round. Just be aware that these are not the traditional peppers from Galicia however they are still tasty!
If you are curious to buy Padron Peppers in order to create a delicious dish, please contact us at email@example.com