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Out of the Frying Pan

Herb & Spice Encyclopedia Index

Crushed Red Pepper

Also called: red pepper flakes

Way back in 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Luckily for us, he brought back with him the versatile chile. The countries that spice up their dishes with this lovely addition are plentiful, and include India, Mexico, South America, Spain, Thailand, and the US.

Most crushed red pepper usually comes from the long, red New Mexico chile. These days, red pepper flakes are a common substitute for plain old black pepper, as the heat quotient is easily gauged and adds both dimension and flame to the most common dishes. Try adding just a pinch to skillet-fried, salted potatoes. It's a brand new dish and a sure-fire hit.


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