• Aleppo Pepper: Spice Up Your Spice Collection!

Aleppo Pepper: Spice Up Your Spice Collection!

Upon embarking on our trip to Turkey earlier this year, we made the rounds of our friends and family asking if there was anything in particular they wanted us to bring back from our travels. My boyfriend Matt’s Mother Becky is quite the avid cook, it really is a true pleasure to sit around her table! Amongst other more traditionally requested items, she asked that we bring her back some Aleppo Pepper.  I had never heard of the stuff myself, so as a self declared cook, was curious as what the deal was behind this mystery spice.

After a few trips unsuccessful trips to various bazaars, I was beginning to think this spice was some kind of culinary urban legend. Continuing on our quest, we stumbled upon one of the many vendors in the Spice Bazaar to grab some various teas and goodies, and casually asked once again for the elusive Aleppo! With a careful and curious reaction, the vendor immediately asked why we wanted such a spice and what we planned to do with it (stressed out much).  Suspicion quickly turned into excitement as he rummaged around in various cupboards for his stash of this secret spice.  It turns out he is from Aleppo, Syria, the proud home of this, now beloved seasoning.  

So what is Aleppo Exactly? Mildly hot, with undertones of cumin, this spice is a staple on most Turkish tables.  Often sprinkled over small plates, breakfast foods or incorporated into meats for kebabs, the list of its uses goes on and on.  Aleppo is a small Syrian village bordering Turkey known for the Aleppo peppers, which are dried and crushed to make this versitile spice.  According to LA Magazine, this pepper gained its serious notoriety in 1994 when cookbook author Paula Wolfert published The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean and has since been embraced in many kitchens worldwide. Now you may not find it at your local grocery store, but it can be found online through various vendors, and is well worth picking up to, dare I say, spice up your spice collection??? See below some Aleppo recipes!

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Aleppo Pepper
Grilled Corn with Aleppo-Pepper Aioli
Grape Leaves Aleppo

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