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"Crushed Red Pepper Flakes"

Those little jars in the spice aisle of the supermarket -- what kind of peppers do you think they are?

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  1. Cayenne, I've always thought. Erroneously, perhaps.

    1. Unless specifically labled a different type of pepper, the standard is cayenne

      1. I hope it's cayenne, because I grind them up whenever I need the ground cayenne in cooking and spice blends.

        1. its usually a combo of a few different types of dried peppers, but yes cayenne is one of them

          1 Reply
          1. re: LongIslandChef

            Interesting. I would have thought they were dried cherry peppers.

          2. They USED to be cayenne. Whatever they are now, they're nowhere near as hot as they used to be.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ZenSojourner

              Zen, some sources like Penzeys offer different varieties of crushed red pepper based on scoville level. maybe try them?


              or just look for a bottle or package that contains a higher proportion of seeds :)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                "Crushed Indian Red Pepper (40,000 heat units) "

                NOW we're talkin', LOL!

                If I sprinkle the typical stuff you get in local grocery stores on heavily, I can start to taste it - but it gives the pizza an unpleasant dry flaky texture. I'd rather use fewer flakes to get that heat I crave.

                  1. re: al b. darned

                    "Crushed Red Pepper 60,000 Heat Units"


                    Ye be pleasin' me inner pirate!

                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                      There are many hybrid Cayenne Peppers, I use "Ristra hybrid Cayenne from Burpee Seed Co. dry them and crush as fine as you like. When the next year's crop is ready to dry,(after a few fresh are used in Abruzzo style dishes) I throw out the previous year's remaining crushed

            2. Recently had lunch at a place called Enzo's in West Chester, Pennsylvania and spied a gentleman taking off the lid of the pepper shaker and shovelling the stuff onto his pasta. As he shovelled, I groveled in awe.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                My mother would often do this. There always seemed to be a "layer" of red pepper flakes on top of her bowl of pasta. Needless to say, she is my hero. :)

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  If Enzo's in WC is anything like Enzo's in Kennett, it's quite likely that the spices in that jar have outlived their usefulness.

                2. What's irritating is that you never know how hot they will be. And I like hot.

                  But I remember the first time getting a foccacia at my (now) favorite spot in Berlin (http://bitchinberlin.wordpress.com/20...), and being quite generous with their pepper flakes. Ouch. I had to blow half of them off my slice because my lips were on fire.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: linguafood

                    Freshness certainly matters. If the bottle has been sitting on a store shelf in sunlight for a year its contents won't have much pop. If it's fresh from the factory, however, it will light you up pretty good.