Pimientos de Padrón

Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non - Galician Saying Translation: Some are hot. Some are not.

I love these. Perhaps I'm biased. They are pretty much considered the national dish from the land of my birth. That's Galicia - in the northwest of Spain. Notice the quote? Not quite Spanish is it? Yep, that's Galego. Named for the town of Padrón, most of these tiny peppers are sweet and mild. The odd one is not. It's  hot. Very hot. There may be tears. Consider yourselves warned.

On a recent trip to Galicia, I ate these little beauties almost every day. Next to jamón, they are probably my favourite local thing. At a bar in the spa town of Caldas de Reis, after arriving a little too late for lunch we were offered a lovely plate of these and a massive mountain of bread. A satisfying meal with an element of gambling thrown in. What is not to love? At the time it was early spring, when typically the peppers contain less of the spicy compound capsaicin,  and we were hard pressed to find a hot one among the batch we ate. Even though we had no "winners", they were delicious nonetheless.

Pimientos del Padrón y Pan

Up until recently, it was hard to find these outside of Spain. Lately I've seen them regularly in blog posts from New York and yearn for them wistfully. I  chanced upon some in Portland, Oregon a couple of years ago at Toro Bravo.  I saw them in Seattle for sale. But I had never seen them in Vancouver.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across them at the Trout Lake Farmer's market. The lovely people from Klippers Organics of Cawston BC had a load of them. And I am told, they are the only ones growing them in Canada.  Fill me up. I was a pretty happy girl leaving the market with my peppers in tow.

Pimientos de Padrón

Fry them quickly in olive oil, toss them with some sea salt. Nothing more is required.

Fried Pimientos de Padrón
Pimientos de Padrón with Maldon

It's September or maybe it's the way they are grown here but I found the majority of these were hot and yes there were some tense moments. But they were good. So good. When can I get more?


Want to receive posts like this, right to your inbox? Just enter your email address below and it shall be done.