Cayenne pepper is a finely ground powder prepared from the seeds and pods of various types of chilli As most powders are blends, the names of the varieties used are not very important.
The capsicums used are the small-fruited varieties: thinnish tapered seed pods up to 12 cm long and 2.5 cm in diameter. Cayenne is made from the ripened fruit, varying from red to yellow. The powder is red or red-brown in colour. Some cayennes include the ground seeds and are hotter than those which exclude them.
Cayenne pepper is well known and easily available in the West.
Bouquet: Dusty but slightly aromatic. Flavour: Hot, pungent and biting, although not as powerful as the hotter chillies.
- Cayenne should not be used to the same degree as paprika, which it resembles, for it is much stronger. When used as a condiment it should be sprinkled sparingly.
- It should be kept in a dark container as it is affected by sunlight, and bought in small quantities as it deteriorates rapidly, losing its pungency.
Cayenne pepper can be used as a spice in cooking; or as a condiment at table, generally with seafoods, such as oysters, sardines, smoked salmon and trout, scallops, fried mussels, crab, lobster and crayfish.
It may be sprinkled over soups and hors d’oeuvres.
It can be eaten with eggs cooked in any way, and egg dishes such as omelettes and souffles.
It is good with roasted, grilled, fried or stewed meats.
It can be sprinkled on bacon prior to frying and used in the dusting flour for fried chicken, fish and vegetables.
It adds piquancy to stews, casseroles and sauces, especially cheese, barbecue and shellfish sauces.
It can be used in the making of cheese straws and biscuits, marinades, pickles, ketchups, chutneys and smoked foods.
It is an ingredient of Worcestershire sauce and is frequently used in curries.
Category: Spices and Herbs
Sub Category: Spices
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