Red pepper flakes: what they are and how to make them yourself

If salt and pepper are the two busiest members of your spice cabinet, ground red pepper flakes are definitely third. And like salt and pepper, they’re easy to take for granted — assuming they’re a constant, always-on seasoning that makes everything you eat spicier.

Red pepper flakes, also known as ground red pepper, and in some circles, chile flakes (those with the brand’s seeds remaining in the mix) are all, ostensibly, the same thing. It’s very easy to eat at face value, as a generally seasoning ingredient PizzaAnd the macaronior sauteed vegetables.

But these ubiquitous spots present an opportunity for so much more. Aside from adding a kick to your favorite dishes, whether in the skillet or on the plate, chili can bring very subtle fruity notes and a host of different personalities to the heat, depending on the type you use. There is a milder, sweeter chili that you can sprinkle generously over chickpeas and a salad dressing or a pot of cooked lentils. A hot pepper can add a solid edge to dishes, curries, and anything but diavola.

So what exactly are ground red pepper flakes?

Most brands of crushed red pepper flakes that you can buy at the store are made from a blend of different types of hot peppers. Dried jalapeño, bell, Fresno, Anaheim, Cayenne, Serrano, and more peppers can be found in a standard blend. McCormick says red pepper flakes start with chili, which is mixed with other varieties to set the heat.

How long do ground red pepper flakes last?

Like a tablet of garlic powder stacked in the back of your pantry, eating old red pepper flakes likely won’t make you sick. But they can pick up odors from your kitchen cabinets, drying them out after their desired state, losing flavor and heat. When mixed in a dish, it can be hard to trace the unwanted flavor back to the red pepper flakes, but the bright red color and strong aroma are good indicators that your chips still pack a punch. If you don’t remember when you bought them, it’s probably time to replace the red pepper flakes.

What other options are there?

term chili chips Conversational is often replaced with the standard red pepper flakes for pizza. However, chile chips are usually made with one type of pepper, such as Burlap & Barrel’s silk chili flakes (alternative to peppery Aleppo tomatoes) or smoked Spicewalla such as raisins Urfa Chili Chips. (Diaspora company offers Four different items Chili chips are also usually made with only the dried flesh of the pepper, leaving behind the very bitter and spicy seeds and pods.

What are some good premium chili chips to start with?

Jacob Harth, who recently left a job as a culinary chef at Place Des Fêtes in Brooklyn to start a new venture in Mexico City, hasn’t had a big day cooking with ground paprika. Alternatively, the go-to is the Basque-style Split Chili. His favorite is Boonville Barn Collective’s California’s Boonville Barn Collective Piment de Ville. Espelette is Chile’s go-to for a dusting of papas bravas, and its sweet, smoky kick is the perfect complement to fried eggs.

GochugaruMost popular in kimchi, Korean sun-dried chile flakes are another great option: They’re warm, but not too hot, and far from giving sundubu-jjigae the color of a fire truck, they make an irresistible popcorn topping when paired with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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