A Kitchen experiment: drying hot peppers on a string

In my previous post, I wrote about the large batch of chili I recently prepared. After cooking up storm, I had still had several habanero peppers left over.

It would be quite a shame to let them go to waste. I discussed with the vendor at the farmer’s market about how to preserve the peppers. She quickly suggested that I hang try them.

After doing a bit of research on the web, I read about other techniques such as freezing them or drying them in a food dehydrator or even in the oven. My Nonna usually air-dries her hot peppers by hanging them in her veranda or outside. Despite not having a well-ventilated space, I still wanted to put that technique to the test.

Here’s a brief summary of the steps I followed per info from E How food:

  • Wash and dry the peppers.
  • Thread the needle with dental floss.
  • Insert the needle through the hot pepper, near the stem.
  • Remove needle from thread.
  • Hang peppers in a sunny window.
  • Leave peppers to dry until they are leathery and shrivelled. This should take about two weeks.

I clearly chose the wrong week for this experiment! It is recommended that peppers dry near a window for both the light and air circulation. However, Toronto, just like most eastern cities, was affected by the passage of Hurricane Sandy. Hence, there was very little sun and the weather was obviously quite humid weather, in other words, not ideal conditions for pepper drying.

About a week in the process, the habaneros seem to be drying. I noticed that some of the peppers are sporting some spots. I just hope that they’re not rotting.

To be continued…


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