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2010 was the year of guindillas - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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2010 was the year of guindillas [ Wednesday, 09 Mar 11 | 13:09 ]
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]

Spanish food is not “hot” or picante like Mexican food. We have lots of pimientos (capsicum, peppers) here, but most are of the “sweet” kind. Guindilla is used for piquant peppers here rather than chile. Two years ago Ruben brought over a pepper called campanilla, which means “little bell”. It’s not very “hot”, but it has more “heat” then the normal pimientos here. It’s a popular “home variety”, I haven’t seen it sold in markets.

I planted some seeds from that original campanilla and was able to collect some peppers in the late summer and fall. The plant survived the winter and last year became as big as my dwarf lemon trees. More than a hundred peppers appeared last year. And that was from one plant! Again, the same plant has survived this winter and last weekend was replanted in a larger pot. So maybe it will grow some more.

Campanillas or bell-shaped peppers

A year ago we decided to plant some more “hot” varieties of peppers. We did find a few varieties of seeds to buy. One problem is that the seeds are very fertile and have close to 100% germination, so ended up having to buy more pots for the peppers.

Although several varieties were planted, it turns out one can classify the chile-shaped peppers as big and little. The flesh of all them is not that piquant, but the seeds are pretty potent.

Campanillas and two “chiles”

We ended up with too many plants and way too many peppers. This year we will see how many of last year’s plants are still viable before planting more. So far, the two campanilla plants look OK, I am not so sure about the other varieties. There are plenty of seeds so no problem to plant a couple more, just not so many as last year.

In case you are wondering, I use the guindillas in pasta sauce, pizza, and nachos. Also in dishes that call for pimientos, I’ll add some of the red ones for color.

A happy face of guindillas

Photographer’s note: EXIF data intact.


[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 09 Mar 11 | 21:53 (UTC)
Good that you mention that Spanish food is not picante. Most anglosaxons believe we eat chillies everywhere (check Jamie Oliver for instance)

Just for reference, "guindilla" is called "bitxo" in Catalan. Basques eat pickled guindillas as well
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 10 Mar 11 | 05:35 (UTC)

"guindilla" is called "bitxo" in Catalan

There is also a specific type of guindilla called bicho in Spanish and bitxo in Catalan (pronounced similarly). The word can mean "bug" in English, or worse depending on the country. The plants are compact, dwarf peppers, very decorative, and can be cultivated indoors or outdoors. I have one and they are comestible (edible).

I even saw a local TV cooking program where the chef used one bitxo in a dish he was preparing. I thought, oh, great, I can prepare 100 of those dishes right now.

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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 10 Mar 11 | 06:34 (UTC)

mmmm... red peppers... roasted...

I have roasted them, but it takes a lot of time. I usually finely cut them and add to dishes.

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