I Segreti di Diano Starìci Sweet Sciuscillone Pepper Chips
You can smell the bold aroma of these vibrantly-red peppers the second you open the jar—bright and fruity with a slight earthiness. Their chile flavor is mild, akin to that of a fresh and punchy paprika as opposed to many dried chilies that yield a darker, raisin-like taste. Cultivated in Salerno, Italy, each pepper is naturally air-dried for at least 60 days before being stripped of its seeds and fried until crisp in extra-virgin olive oil—which gives them an extra crispy texture that’s perfect for crumbling for chili flakes, using as an elegant garnish or snacking on straight from the jar. Unlike other brands that can have an unpleasant oiliness and lacking aroma, these peppers also have a robustly meaty texture in addition to their crunch—that means they can easily be rehydrated without getting papery and have enough versatility to elevate all manner of dishes.
Fior di Maiella Italian Hot Pepper Flakes
We're a big fan of chili flakes here at Milk Street and love finding exciting new varieties from around the world, but for those times you just want a familiar favorite—the kind you'll find at every pizzeria—this savory Italian blend is your best bet. A good proportion of capsaicin-rich seeds make Fior di Maiella fairly spicy, with rich earthy notes and a range of deep red hues and different-sized flakes that look visually appealing. Their vibrant, shiny appearance and pliancy are in fact signs of freshness, versus the stale, washed-out shards you'll find in grocery-store red pepper flakes.
Masseria Mirogallo Pepper Composta
You will only find this variety of Peperone di Senise, a local sweet pepper from Basilicata, from Masseria Mirogallo. The Belfiore family has cultivated its heirloom variety from over 20 years of selection, and it is prized particularly for its thin, crunchy skin that adds texture to the pepper compote. Red and green peppers are cored, seeded and chopped by hand; once pressed and dried, the peppers are packed with parsley, fennel and olive oil from the Mirogallo farm. These aromatic sweet peppers are terrific tossed with sautéed shrimp or scallops, or blended with a handful of chopped baby arugula, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice to taste and used as a relish for salmon or chicken. Toss with chopped tomatoes for an instant bruschetta topping, or stir a couple of chopped tablespoons into quick pasta sauces.
Masseria Mirogallo Diavolicchi Hot Peppers in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
It’s no secret that we love chilies at Milk Street, and the diavolicchi from Masseria Mirogallo are some of our favorites. Their name comes from the Italian word for devil because they are said to be hotter than hell, but they also have a bright flavor and sweet finish. Hand-selected and packed into jars with only wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil produced from the same farm on which the peppers were grown, diavolicchi's piquancy will define and sharpen a dish’s flavors. Use to cut through a starchy pasta dish, clarify a rich braise or stew or heighten sauces. And don’t throw out the oil! It’s terrific in vinaigrettes or used for sautéing vegetables, seafood and eggs.
Iasa Hot Pepper in Olive Oil
We’re big fans of the defining kick a little chili heat can add to sauces, sandwiches, dressings. These Calabrian peppers pack a punch, but pull short of being incendiary, making them more all purpose than most preserved chilies. A little dab will do you.
Bona Furtuna Organic Aglio e Oglio
A classic Sicilian herb blend that’s extremely versatile, this medley is flecked with vibrant green parsley and red Calabrian chili. Dried parsley is generally one of the biggest wastes of pantry space, as it loses its character really fast (similar to other delicate herbs like cilantro and tarragon), and mass-produced drying and bottling of parsley generally means little to no flavor no matter how new your bottle is. The bright and clear parsley flavor in this Bona Furtuna blend is pretty much revelatory. The blend tastes bright, fruity and a little spicy, with grassy and bright parsley impeccably preserved by the drying process. It’s got a good amount of spice, but is rounded out with earthy, mellow garlic and a hint of high-quality Trapiani salt.
Bona Furtuna Stuffed Peppers with Tuna
A traditional antipasti from Sicily made with carefully sourced ingredients, this tasty bite has juicy, tender, fruity pepper flavor and a hint of spice in every juicy bite. Savory tuna complements, but doesn’t overpower the pepper flavor. The other flavors (a bit of tomato, the extra bit of brine from capers, the tang of the vinegar) round everything out really nicely. The peppers are chubby and round and stuffed with smooth tuna, with a meaty green olive on top. They’re packed in oil, which as taken on a slight red-orange hue from the red of the peppers.