A range of flavoring ingredients
(products) are based on chilies.
Cayenne Pepper - This finely ground
powder, made from a variety of red chili, is extremely hot and is used
in tiny amounts as a seasoning, for example in egg and cheese dishes.
Chili Powder - Milder than cayenne
and more coarsely ground, this is prepared from a variety of mild to hot
chilies. Some brands also contain other flavorings, such as cumin and
oregano - added for convenience in the preparation of dishes such as
chili corn sauce.
Dried Chili Flakes - These contain
both the flesh and seeds of red chilies and can be used in their own
right to pep up cooked dishes or as a substitute if fresh chilies are
Chili Oil - This is excellent for
frying, or for basting meat or fish for barbecuing.
Chili Paste - Ready-made chili
paste is sold in small jars. It is also easy to prepare at home from
fresh chilies using a food processor and can be stored in the fridge for
1 week or for 6 months in the freezer.
Chili Sauce - The best-known chili
sauce is probably Tabasco, which is made from extremely hot chilies
mixed with salt and vinegar, then matured for several years. Chili sauce
is widely used in small quantities for seasoning dishes.
How to Choose Chilies ?
- Fresh chilies should be firm, glossy and
evenly colored. Avoid musty, soft or wrinkled chilies.
- It is a good idea to buy dried chilies
in transparent packaging, so that you can see the quality of the product
at a glance.
- Dried chili flakes and ground chilies
should have a good aroma and color. Buy them in small quantities and
date the packaging so that you do not keep them too long.