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Pimientos de Padron...and flaky salt

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I fell in love with Pimientos de Padron while I was in Barcelona last summer. I ordered some seeds so that I can plant them in my backyard, but I have no idea when to plan them. I live in Los Angeles, so climate-wise I should be able to grow them successfully. Any tips on when to plant them?

Also - I can't seem to find the amazing flaky salt that was everywhere in Barcelona. Any tips on places to purchase that?

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  1. whole foods has a wonderful assortment of different sea salts in the bulk section.
    i love it because you can just get a smidge, and it isn't $$$.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dinaofdoom

      Great idea! I previously checked out Whole Foods in the spice section where they had a bunch of different salts, but not the flaky kind you get in Barcelona. I'll check out the bulk section next time I'm there!

    2. Do not know if you are male or female but for padron peppers l would marry you. Took a trip to the Padron festival in Gallicia some years back and it was the food festival of my life. Remember one meal in Santiago du Compestela, where had the peppers for entree, plat and dessert in three different places. Cannot imagine the seeds should not be started in a few weeks inside then transferred outside. Regarding the salt, probably fleur de sal, spanish ocean salt which can be found imported by a company called Mittica for about $8 a kilo. Same as the french in fussy jars and bags at much higher prices. Send me some peppers, will send you some salt.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        In season (starting about June), I've been ordering Padrón peppers from Latienda.com for the past couple of years (pics below). Towards the end of summer, the prices drop or they do the buy one/get two specials..

        To the OP - not sure about the Spanish flaked salt, but when I make them, I love Matiz Andaluz Spanish smoked sea salt. Great flavor, and a little goes a long way.
        http://www.seasaltsuperstore.com/inde...

        Pimientos de Padrón
        http://www.chow.com/photos/86439
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/409205

        1. re: Rubee

          Thanks a lot for the source. Yes Matiz, does export a good salt, but expensive. One time make the peppers with Extremaduran smoked red pepper, the dulce, then use regular atlantic salt.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            How does Maldon salt compare to the Matiz one?

            1. re: MMRuth

              I can tell you that on a trip to Catalonia last year, it was Maldon salt that was every table - and I mean every table. I found it a bit odd at the time.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Maldon, like the Welsh version, Halen Mon, is flaky, but much larger flakes. The Fleur de Sel from France and Spain is a smaller flake. You can blow it off its pile easily and is the perfect size for finishing salt.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Thanks - I'm familiar with the French fleur de sel, and didn't realize that Spain had its own version ....

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Not as fussily packed, still made paludier style ( raked by hand) and as long as Atlantic, just as good, Portugeuse also have the same thing, used to be very inexpensive compared to the French. The Mittica kilo pack is priced either as a mistake or just a great bargain. Have seen that at Cheese on 62nd just east of Lex for , l think, $11. Funny just noticed Matiz calls it's salt Mediterraneo, which may means it comes from Mediterranean Sea. Along with Baleine and Sel de Camargue, l feel this area is far more polluted than the Atlantic so l would not use it. Could not find any more info on specific, but just a thought.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      I'm not famiiliar with the area it mentions, but from the link I've already provided above:

                      "Matiz Mediterranea Sea Salt comes from Torrevieja, a town located in southeastern Spain known for the two large saltwater lagoons which surround it. These "Salterns of Torrevieja" are the second biggest in the world and the largest in Europe. The flats have been used for salt production since Roman times and still provide sea salt products for export worldwide."

                      In reply to the OP, I was just posting what I do when I cook fresh Padrón peppers - I cook over high heat with Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Spanish smoked sea salt. I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy Matiz sea salt, it's simply a personal favorite - and through my own experience - the best Spanish smoked sea salt I've tried; though if you have a rec for the Spanish smoked sea salt you prefer, I'm open to suggestions!

                      1. re: Rubee

                        No, not complaining about your choices, in fact many stores l have worked at sell Matiz and it is a very high level product, but l personally do not like salt from Mediterranean due to the pollution there, which l, perhaps incorrectly ,think is far worse, than in the Atlantic. There is a smoked salt made in America, that l have but cannot find now, made in the midwest with Utah salt and smoked over fresh wood that was expensive but very, very smoky, l loved it. Many of the makers from Brittany also sell smoked atlantic sea salt. Maybe if l come west you will cook them for me.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Thanks for the suggestions. Much appreciated! I wanted to double-check with you before I ordered it, but this looks great - is it the Utah sea salt you were talking about?

                          http://www.worldspice.com/spices/0697...

                          1. re: Rubee

                            Damn good work woman, that is it. enjoy

              2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                I think a little goes a long way, so it's worth it to me (I pay $10.99).

                Thanks for the tip. I love the smoked paprika/pimentón from Extramadura too. I have the dulce, agridulce, and picante. So much flavor.

          2. As for growing peppers, you should start your seeds now if you haven't already, and plant in the garden in 5-6 weeks. That's what I do in SF. Maybe you can sow them directly in the soil in LA. Chowhound is not the best place for gardening tips. Try this for more info:

            http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/pe...

            1. good luck. I love pimieintos de padron, live on them when in Spain.