Monday, August 9, 2010

Los Pimientos de Padron

When I am in the market in San Miguel de Allende, Jalapenos, Serranos and Poblanos are my fresh peppers of choice. But when I am in Spain, there are two peppers that I just adore. I actually covet them. One is the Piquillo pepper, the other is the Padron!

"Los Pimientos de Padron" are grown in Padron, a municipality in the province of Coruna in Galicia, Spain. About 33,000 pounds are grown in Padron every year between June and September. In 1979, the town of Herbon had its first fiesta honoring the Padron pepper. Since then, it is held the first Sunday in August and it is celebrated at the town's Franciscan convent. For it was the Franciscan monks who brought the first pepper seeds from Mexico back to Spain in the 1500's.
I bought this seed packet from a vendor on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain. I have tried several times to germinate the seeds, but nada, nothing happened.

The next step, besides getting on a plane, flying to Barcelona and going to one of my favorite tapas joints, I ordered two pounds of the Padron peppers from La Tienda (a mail order catalog specializing in Spanish products).
The level of heat varies from one pepper to the other. It is said that the earlier harvested Padrons are milder in "heat" than the ones harvested at the end of the season. "Los pimientos de Padron, unos pican y oustros no." (The Padron peppers, some of them hot, and others, not."

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Throw in the Padron peppers and saute on high heat until they start to roast and blister. Once plated, sprinkle them with sea salt. My favorite sea salt is Maldon from England for I like the taste and flaky texture. The plate is one of my favorites that I had bought in Talavera de Reina, Spain.
I agree with the author of 1001 Foods to Die For, when he wrote about Padrons, "Many commentators have compared eating them to culinary Russian roulette. While most of them are mild, sweet, and somewhat nutty, every tenth one or so is as hot as a Jalapeno." Well, with the batch that I received, it was about every other one that was hot. But SO good!
Buen Provecho.


  1. send the fireman...did you have your husband eat every other ONE?