Hello Cocinacas! Do you usually add pepper to your preparations? Almost half of the traditional Spanish dishes include this ingredient, whether fresh, dried or ground. Knowing the types of peppers and their uses in the kitchen will allow you to know which of them to use depending on the preparation you are going to prepare. Today, in addition, we will teach you some recipes with different types of peppers, as examples.
Within our food section you will also find information about the types of onions that exist. Both ingredients are very versatile in the kitchen and within the multiple varieties that each one of them has, it is convenient to know which one is more appropriate for consume raw, fried, boiled or roast.
The pepper is a vegetable that we can find throughout the year. However, the optimal season for consumption is the summer, from June to September. During those months it will be when we will find it fresher and cheaper.
To preserve the peppers In the best possible conditions, the ideal is to store the peppers in the Fridge and inside a perforated plastic container. Thus, they can be kept up to 15 days. Another option is freeze them, for which it will be necessary to apply the blanching techniques first.
On the other hand, to know which is the best specimen (within each of the types of peppers) we must choose the meatiest, hardest and heaviest in proportion to its size. The skin should be firm, smooth and bright in color. Another quality factor is the state of its stem, which should be green, firm and crisp.
We are going to see how peppers are classified in order to know a little more about them.
Classification of types of peppers
The pepper is part of the edible nightshade family, along with tomato and eggplant. We can find peppers of different colors, shapes and sizes. However, the main classification is determined based on its taste and its use.
By it’s flavor
They are the most used in gastronomy. These are the italian green pepper, the Bell pepper, the lady or the chorricero pepper.
They are mainly used to consume raw, or cooked in different ways: roasted, fried, sautéed or steamed.
It has different names, depending on the variety and its area of origin. They are characterized by having a high capsaicin content that gives them that characteristic itch. This substance is a natural defense of the plant so that it is not eaten by animals or that the seeds are not invaded by fungi.
Some varieties are especially known as is the case of the piquillo peppers, that of Census, the Gernika pepper, the cayenne (used as a spice) or chilli peppers (chili peppers and chili peppers).
They can be eaten raw, in the form of a condiment, spice, or pickles.
For its use
They are grown and left to dry and then be eaten whole or ground. They are used mainly in stews, meats and other preparations, to give them more flavor. Some of them are chorizo, ñoras, dried chillies, cayenne or paprika.
They are peppers that once harvested are packaged and stored for later consumption. For this, varieties such as Piquillo peppers or roasted bell peppers are used.
Here we explain how to prepare roasted red peppers and keep them canned.
A suitable pepper for each type of preparation
We are going to see which are the ten types of peppers that are most cultivated in Spain and in which elaborations they are used.
Also know as bonnet pepper or from ox snoutIt is a sweet pepper (to a greater or lesser extent depending on its degree of maturity), fleshy, with a hard skin that is consumed fresh.
It can be of different colors, being green, yellow, Orange Y Red the most common. The difference between them lies in their state of maturation, in its flavor and its components. The peppers when they are green are less sweet. As they become yellow, orange or red, they gain sweetness, are enriched in vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Can be consumed raw (in salads, gazpachos or other cold soups), roasts (baked or grilled, being a traditional recipe the elaboration of the Catalan escalivada or the stuffed peppers in the oven), fried or as part of a sofrito.
Also called fried pepper, is one of the best known pepper varieties. It’s a sweet pepper, of green color Y Extended form, finished in a point. Its flavor resembles the green bell pepper although it is a little milder.
It is used in the preparation of all kinds of dishes: stews, stir-fries, sauces, roasts, etc. although they can also be eaten raw or fried, as a side dish.
It is a variety originating from the convent of San Francisco de Herbón, in the parish of Padrón (A Coruña). Are small peppers, of deep green color Y thin skin.
The most characteristic thing is that there is always one that itches a lot, hence the well-known Galician saying: Padrón peppers, some are hot and others are not.
They are prepared in a pan, whole and with their tail, so that it is easier to catch them with your fingers. With a little olive oil, simmer and just at the end a little salt. Here you can see the recipe for the Padrón peppers.
It is a characteristic red pepper, small and conical. Of consistent meat, pyramidal shape and unique flavor and aroma. They sting very slightly.
Only the piquillo pepper from Lodosa in Navarra they are covered by the Denomination of Origin (DO). These are consumed in preserves. For this they must be subjected to a series of controls on their origin and quality. They are roasted in direct flame ovens, peeled, cored and removing the seeds by hand. They are then submerged in water or chemical solutions and packaged in their own juice.
The usual thing is to prepare this type of stuffed peppers, although with them you can also prepare salads, Russian salad or as accompaniment in a meat dish.
We teach you how to make stuffed piquillo peppers or a delicious piquillo pepper salad with tuna and almonds.
In the greens category, we include Guernika peppers, exclusive to the Basque Country. It has the Denomination of Origin Gernika pepper or Gernikako Piperra. and that is usually used for fresh consumption.
It is usually consumed fresh, when it is green and small, before it reaches a length greater than 9 centimeters. These peppers are also sweet, soft and especially suitable for fry over low heat. When the pepper ripens it can no longer be eaten fried because the skin becomes quite thick.
It’s a dried pepper, garnet in color, rather small and plump. His skin is very thick and his very sweet taste.
It is used above all in typical dishes in Catalonia, in the south of Valencia and also in the Region of Murcia. It is used for enhance color and the flavor of stews, stir-fries and sauces.
It is also called romesco pepper because it is the essential ingredient in romesco sauce.
Is a variety of red pepper that is usually air dry for its conservation and that is used mainly in traditional dishes of Basque cuisine. For example, it is the pepper that is used in the biscay style fish recipe.
It should not be confused with the Señora because although both are used dry, their flavor and the qualities they possess are very different.
Various types of chilli peppers are grown in Spain. It’s a small pepper, slim Y Red, which can be consumed fresh or dry.
They stand out for having a spicy taste, which can vary in intensity.
An original recipe in which you can incorporate this type of pepper is in this plate of tagliatelle with portobello mushrooms and chilli.
It is above all an important ingredient in Mexican Kitchen, although we also find it in South Asian curries and from many other tropical countries of the world.
Did you know all these types of peppers? Tell us through the comments which ones you like the most and in which dishes you usually use them.
You may also be interested in knowing how to clean a pepper.