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Jun 2, 2009 07:21 AM

Penzey's Tuscan Sunset Change?

Has anyone else noticed the change to the flavor of this blend? After noticing myself when I opened a new bag purchased a few weeks back I checked the ingredients and saw that the Aleppo Pepper is gone and has been replaced by Red Pepper. I've emailed the company as I"ve gone from using the blend on a daily basis to watching it sit in my spice cupboard and wondered if anyone else had info. Thank you!

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  1. Oh man, that stinks! I *loved* the Tuscan Sunset with the Aleppo pepper - that got me to buy a separate container of the Aleppo Pepper to use on its own.

    Interestingly, their website doesn't even say anything about Red Pepper: "The rich sweet flavor of basil and oregano with the added zest of garlic, bell pepper and black pepper. Round it off with a touch of fennel, and who needs salt?"

    Has the company responded yet?

    1. I've had their small size "sample" comtainer sitting on my spice shelf for some time now without ever having been used. Just last night, as I was looking for something else, I opened it and took a sniff. Boy does that smell good! Now I have to begin using it.

      Did you notice a marked difference between the mix with Aleppo pepper and the Red Pepper? One is hotter than the other so perhaps people wrote the company to suggest a change? Just a thought.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        But Aleppo is milder than Red Pepper. I guess we need to determine whether are we talking Red BELL Pepper or Cayenne here? Have they actually removed Aleppo because it was too "hot"?


        1. re: LindaWhit

          Ya never know, Linda. So many people have an aversion to anything remotely spicy.....

          OTOH: I Love red pepper flakes and cayenne so if they upped the heat, I wouldn't mind.

          1. re: Gio

            I know what you mean re: anything remotely spicy. I like a lot less heat than many here on CH, but Aleppo pepper, in the amount that was in the Tuscan Sunset mix, was nowhere near "hot".

            If it is bell pepper they've added, I'll just have to make sure that Aleppo gets added to *my* mix. :-)

            1. re: LindaWhit

              There was no heat at all in the previous blend, just delicious flavor. The ingredient list on the bag purchased a few weeks back just says Red Pepper. Still no heat, just a very different flavor. Was wondering if anyone else had noticed. Again, I did email Penzey's this morning to inquire. Will let everyone know what I found out when they reply!

              1. re: eenie1

                The Aleppo didn't add "heat" per se, but definitely adds a nice touch to the Tuscan Sunset blend. (I note a bit of heat/spice when I use the Aleppo on its own).

                Will be interested to see what they say! And I'll have to check my TS blend at home (purchased several months ago) to see what the blend mix states.

                1. re: eenie1

                  I've just checked my small container at home - the ingredients listing is as follows: basil, oregano, Aleppo pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper, anise.

                  So if it says "red pepper", sounds like they removed it completely. Boo, hiss! As I said earlier, I will have to continue to buy Aleppo separately and add it to my Tuscan Sunset mix.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Agree with the boo hiss, Linda! The flavor has changed completely. Still no word back but will let you know what I find out as soon as they respond. Take care all!

                    1. re: eenie1

                      I just heard back from Penzey's and the ingredient change is permanent. My plan is to take the original ingredient list and create my own as I just don't like the flavor of the new blend. Penzey's has offered me a full refund for the bag purchased with the new blend.

                      1. re: eenie1

                        Damn them. ;-) Did they give any reason for the change?

                        And yes, definitely go buy some Aleppo pepper and make it yourself. But I don't think you would need to get a refund....just add the Aleppo to what they have...the bell pepper isn't going to change the "flavor profile" much at all.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          There is definitely a difference. I don't like the new blend at all. If it weren't for such a flavor change, for the worse in my opinion, I never would have noticed the difference. I'm going to start from scratch and see what I can come up with as far as quantities are concerned. I'm sure it will take a lot of testing but I'll get it right eventually!

                          1. re: eenie1

                            Good to know...perhaps they altered the proportions. I will have to remember to keep my old jar to help remember the order of the ingredients to make my own.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              AH HA!!! The cause is revealed! Turns out the Aleppo Pepper is processed with salt so they could no longer label it as a "no salt" blend with that in the ingredients. I'm going to write back again now requesting that they have two versions, one salt free with the new ingredients, the other with salt and the old ingredients. What can it hurt?

                              1. re: eenie1

                                DEFINITELY! (Aleppo Pepper is processed with salt? LOL!) Send them the link to this thread, and see that there are at least some of us who like the original Tuscan Sunset blend!