Daphnis and Chloe – Smoked Chili Flakes
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The Karatzova peppers used for those vastly popular Smoked Chili Flakes are nowadays cultivated by just a handful of families living at the northern frontier of Almopia. Once ripe, these mildly hot, fleshy peppers are washed, hand-sorted, placed on birch wood, and slow-smoked for 10 days. During the smoking process, the farmers work shifts guarding the fire day and night, ensuring it never goes out. The peppers are then destemmed and crushed by hand, giving life to a spice rub collectively known across Greece as Bukovo.
Peppers play a predominant role in the culinary history of Northern Greece, with numerous local varieties claiming a special place in the kitchen. One of the most noteworthy is the sweet and mildly hot red peppers grown for spice in Almopia since the times of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately, the cultivation of Karatzova peppers was left behind in the 1980s as more profitable crops became popular, resulting in farmers abandoning traditional methods of agriculture. Nowadays, our suppliers are among the few who continue to cultivate this old crop using non-invasive processes.
Addictively pleasant, sweet, mellow, and with a lasting flavor, these Smoked Chili Flakes form an ideal backbone for stews, soups, and sauces. In the traditional cuisine of North Greece, they are often scattered over yogurt as a seasoning for meat grills and thick soups. They’re an essential ingredient for baked Feta cheese – a yummy mezze that you should absolutely try. They make the perfect topping for avocado toast or charred broccoli, while they’re equally satisfying on a soft-boiled egg.
For optimal quality, place in an airtight container in a drawer or cupboard. Properly storing your herbs is very important as it expands their life span. Avoid direct sunlight and humidity.