Winnowing Red Chili Flakes

The hanging string of cayenne peppers had decorated the house long enough. It was time to separate the flakes from the seeds and store them in jars. It was much easier than I anticipated. Most of the seeds readily fell out of the lightly crushed peppers and passed through the holes of a colander leaving most of the peppers themselves behind in the colander. The thoroughly dried and brittle chilis shattered with just a small pinch. Sure, some seeds remained behind in the colander and a few pepper flakes passed through the holes along with the seeds but I was impressed with how efficient and thorough the winnowing process worked.

red chili pepper flakes

red chili pepper flakes

 

I crushed the mostly deseeded chilis with mortar and pestle and packed the resultant flakes into shaker jars for storage and easy use.

red chili pepper flakes

red chili pepper flakes

red chili pepper flakes



 


13 thoughts on “Winnowing Red Chili Flakes

    1. Thank you! These were cayenne peppers I grew this past year. I harvested them a handful at a time as they ripened and threaded them onto the string that hung in the house. They dry out nicely with no further effort. In years past I’ve had strands up to four feet long. This time I quit when enough seemed like enough.

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  1. This post is interesting because I’ve never thought to separate the seeds. I have strings of cayenne too and usually just rough chop then grind it all together to sprinkle on food. What’s the advantage of separating?

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    1. I love the initial burn from eating spicy hot food, the hotter the better. I often remove the seeds, especially whole mature seeds, from chilis because they aren’t easily broken down by digestion and the burn the next day at the other end isn’t quite as pleasant. I suppose if the seeds are well pulverized that wouldn’t be so much the case.

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      1. Oh I see. Can I ask you a spicy food question: Do you find that you have a preference for either hot sauce or hot powders? I tend to prefer sprinkling spicy flakes or ground pepper on my food over adding hot sauces. I’m not sure why that is, but I think it’s the way the heat hits my mouth differently.

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      2. To add heat to food I’m preparing in the kitchen I use fresh and dried chilis and powders. At the table, other than black pepper I usually use sauces to add heat.

        It is interesting how different varieties of chilis affect areas of the mouth and tongue differently (tip of the tongue, back of the tongue, throat etc). Handling jalapeños causes my hands to burn whereas cayenne peppers don’t have that effect. But cayennes send fumes up into my nostrils that cause me to choke.

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      3. I agree, it’s really interesting to note the differences. I tend to like the heat toward the front of my mouth rather than back in my throat. It’s a fun experiment to see how the different spicy stuff will affect you.

        Liked by 1 person

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