Chili peppers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and Scovilles. Aleppo pepper, a well balanced chili that brings the flavor and the heat, is definitely a cut above the rest. 

What is Aleppo Pepper?

Aleppo pepper is a common ingredient and condiment found throughout the Middle East. Named for the Syrian city of Aleppo, this chili (aka the halaby chili) is one flavorful pepper. Aleppo pepper has a noticeable sweetness with a touch of citrusy tang. Earthy and toasty tasting, some Aleppo peppers even have a hint of raisin and sun-dried tomato in their flavor profile. As far as spice level, Aleppo pepper is less spicy than crushed red pepper flakes. Aleppo peppers have a  Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) of about 10,000, while crushed red pepper flakes are rated 15,000+ SHU. 

Once the peppers have ripened to a deep garnet color, they are air-dried, seeded, and coarsely ground. 

How to Use Aleppo Pepper

Image Credit: Flickr user gail_thepinkpeppercorn (CC BY 2.0)

You can use Aleppo pepper  in a wide-range of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes. Combined with other spices, aleppo pepper makes for a fantastic rub perfect for grilled meats and vegetables. We love Aleppo pepper in this recipe for Aleppo Pepper and Mint Chicken Skewers and this mouthwatering dish, Turkish Ground Lamb Kebabs. Aleppo pepper is probably best known for its role in Muhammara, a dense and flavorful Middle Eastern pepper paste. 

Adding Aleppo Pepper to your Spice Rack 

Aleppo pepper should be stocked in most Middle Eastern grocery stores, located in the spice section. Online sourcing is another option, we’ve had great success with Aleppo pepper from The Spice House and Penzey’s

Feature Image: (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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