Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hot Piquín Pepper Powder Sprinkled over Fruit… another Street Food from Mexico

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Fruta Con Chile1
One of the things you’ll always find on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico are snack vendors, and among them are the fruit vendors. The fruits they offer are those that are in season. It’s like a rainbow of flavors in the fruit vendor's cart. Today, some of those sellers use a chili powder sold commercially for that purpose; it has some other things besides the chili powder, like ascorbic acid, lemon juice, artificial colors, and salt.
But it used to not be that way years ago, when people used chili powder prepared at home. They used the Piquín/Chiltepin chili, which is grounded and mixed with salt to add some spiciness to the fruit.
Piquin5
Piquín, or chiltepín, is the most common name that this little pepper is known by throughout  México, although there are many name changes from one region to another. The name Chiltepín is derived from two Nanuatl words: “Chillitl”, or chilli, and “tecpintli”, meaning flea. It is  logical to think that the name is due to their small size, but do not underestimate them, they are quite spicy. They are consumed during all of their three stages, green fresh cut of the plant  green, red when mature and dry when they had changed to a reddish copper color.These chilies are used for stews and sauces.
More than a recipe, this is just a process to make you own hot dry pepper powder, one that you can also use not just for the fruits, salsas, and Mexican stews, but for your own cooking creations.
Ingredients:
  • Seasonal Fruits like watermelon, pineapple, mangos in the Summer or Oranges in the winter.
  • 1/2 cup of Chile Pequin Dried *
  • Lime juice to add to your fruit
  • 1 tablespoon of Salt
NOTES:
* If Piquín pepper is not available in your area, use any other dry spicy pepper. Some ethnic  stores carry Thai or Indian dry peppers.
* This mix will also be a great addition to your next barbecue spicy rub or as a substitute for cayenne pepper powder.
Directions:
            Piquin Pepper3Piquin4 
1. Place the dry peppers in a mortar, Molcajete, or spice grinder and grind until it forms a fine powder-like mixture.
            Piquin6Piquin7
2. Add salt and mix. Sprinkle over the fruit of your choice with lime juice and enjoy!
Fruta con Chile3                                Enjoy!                                 mango
                                  Mely

7 comments:

  1. That is great, we used eat tart mango with chili powder and salt. But sweet ones will be wonderful idea Mely.

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    Replies
    1. Really Swathi? We do that too in Mexico. So many similarities with Indian food.

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  2. Hi Mely. I love pico de gallo, which is what we call this delicious treat. This is very big in my family and, like you, I like to make my own chile mix. Sometimes I use sumac to give it the lemony flavor.
    Did you know that this pepper is not the true chiltepin? The true chiltepin is a round pepper half the size of the piquin. It is a wild fruit that grows in the Sonoran dessert, under the mesquite trees to get protection from the sun. Because of its high demand the chiltepin is very pricey; I have bought it for $33.00 a pound but some times it's more expensive. The chiltepin is a wild pepper but people has tried to cultivate it and commercialize it. The piquin is a version of the domesticated one that is easy to grow, more accesable and easy on the wallet.
    Thanks for sharing this snack. Sometimes the most simple recipes are the ones that represent our culture in the best ways. And for us who live outside Mexico, they evoke wonderful memories. Besos.

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    Replies
    1. Great info, Prieta

      Thanks for the valuable information, specially from someone who loves chiles, like you.

      besos guapa!

      Delete

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