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southern cooks: what is "ground red pepper"?

Cheese straw recipes call for it--is it paprika? cayenne? huh? Help please and thank you.

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  1. I always use cayenne when a recipe calls for it.

          1. Like everybody else said, it's cayenne. For a change of pace in cheese straws, try subbing part of the cayenne with pimenton (smoked spanish paprika).

            1. This was listed on a rub recipe I am going to make. At first I thought it was pulverized chili flakes or something. Thanks so much for the clarification!


              1. http://www.amazon.com/McCormick-Peppe...

                Back before more people got specific about pepper cultivars, it was a generic term for what now goes by the name of cayenne in many quarters, but I suspect many Americans still would use the term red pepper in this way.

                1. It is almost certainly cayenne but it could be tobasco peppers from Avery Island, Louisiana.

                  If you wanted to get fancy, you could probably make a mix of various ground red peppers like they do with chili powder, now. Maybe you could start a trend.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                    My basic question was answered: hot .or not? Just wanted to know what was traditional. It's interesting to me what is taken for granted in regional recipes.

                    Thanks to all.

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      Well, you certainly would want a little heat in cheese straws- personally, I like 'em with a *lot* of heat!

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        Just recall that, until the past generation, in much of the US outside the Southwest, there were only two types of pepper: green (bell or cubanelle), which was fresh and not hot, and red (cayenne), which was either crushed or ground and hot. You didn't need to be more specific!

                    2. You'll find that the common spice tins or bottles that used to be labeled "cayenne" pepper now say "ground red pepper" as well, although high end spice companies may still use "cayenne." Somewhere along the line it became necessary to be specific about what peppers were used, and since cayenne chili peppers may not be the chili peppers used year-round, companies began using the more generic "ground red pepper." If it says "cayenne" it must use the cayenne chili. The taste difference is negligible, IMO.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sancan

                        Karl; isn't the variety of availble herbs and spices wonderful now? In days gone by, you had to know where to look in the ethnic groceries of large cities . Now because of consumer interest in world cuisines, the larger specialty spice companies are hopping on board. $$ to be made!

                        sancan: I see your point about the "truth in labeling" issue.

                      2. Thank you to all, I needed an answer to the exact same question as I wanted to try out an American recipe. Here in the United Kingdom there is no 'Ground Red Pepper', but we do have Cayenne, Paprika (hot, sweet etc) Ground Chili and a myriad of others! Now I know, cheers guys.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: psing

                          And Yes, cheese straws do require cayenne!