Apr 17 2023

Get to Know Your Spanish Peppers!

Spanish pepper varieties can be both exciting and a little confusing for the uninitiated but fear not! Here’s our 101 on these key ingredients from Spain, and how they can be used in recipes

They say variety is the spice of life, and they’re not kidding. When it comes to Spanish peppers, interest in and knowledge of global pepper and chili varieties may be growing, but it can be a little daunting navigating the Spanish pantry if you’re not familiar with the flavors. Fear not! We’ve prepared a handy 101 on the top flavor makers from Spain, and how they are used in typical dishes

Guindilla: This is a type of chili pepper used in varying forms in Spanish cuisine. Sometimes pickled, sometimes dried as Cayenne pepper, but guindilla always brings interest to recipes.

Piparra: Hailing from the Basque countrypiparras are another type of guindilla pepper but green in color, with a fresh, acidic taste. They can be used to accompany vegetables, salads and pintxos - the most famous of which is the gildaserved with anchovy and olive.

Pimentón: An understated flavor in Spanish cuisine, the sweet smoky paprika - pimentón dulce - or one of its spicier counterparts, is always somewhere in the background, or the foreground (!), of Spanish cooking. Think chorizo and cured meats, stews, paellas…the list goes on.

Ñora: A small, round and slightly sweet variety of pepper hailing from Murcia, the ñora is normally sun dried and its skin is used in a variety of sauces and dishes as a base flavor.

Piquillos: Sometimes stuffed with the likes of bacalao - cod fish - the pimientos de piquillo – a fire roasted delicacy which water does not touch, which keeps its intensity of flavor. They come whole or in strips packed in a jar or can. They are a meaty and flavorful pepper that can also add depth to sauces or be used as a garnish to fish dishes.

Pimientos de PadrónAs the saying goes in their native Galicia - “Padrón peppers, some are hot, some are not", but you are likely to never come across the occasional spicy bite in a plate of these little green peppers. They come fried until bubbly crisp, and scattered with seasalt.

So, which of these flavorful Spanish peppers will you bring into your cooking repertoire first??