The Turkish variety of the Aleppo pepper, our summery, mildly spicy Silk Chili was historically ground using heavy silk ropes, giving them a smooth, slippery texture. They have a warm, tomato-like flavor and a medium heat, similar to Espelette and Korean chilis. Also called marash pepper, these are great in any dish in need of a little excitement, from scrambled eggs to burgers to brownies. Our Silk Chili Flakes are naturally preserved with a little bit of salt and sunflower seed oil to keep them fresh and flavorful. Perfect for cooking or finishing.
Silk Chili is botanically identical to the Aleppo pepper, which has been cultivated in Syria for centuries. Due to the ongoing violence of the Syrian civil war, true Aleppo chili is unfortunately no longer available for import.
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These chilis undergo a traditional drying and grinding process that results in a chili flake with a very smooth, slippery texture. Historically, the chilis were ground using silk ropes, and although more modern grinding machines are used today, the tradition is commemorated in the name Silk Chili.
Meet the Farmer: Hilmi Bey got into the pepper business 40 years ago when he was working as a cook and couldn't find good peppers. He and his brother bought a few sacks from farmers they knew around their native Maras, carried them 18 hours on a train to Istanbul, and walked the streets of the city shouting that they had peppers to sell. From that original entrepreneurial instinct, Hilmi has built a pepper business that he's now turning over to his son (pictured on the right).
While we do not make any health claims on any of our spices, there has been some historic and limited recent evidence that chilis can potentially be helpful for:
- Cancers: Capsaicin shows potential natural cytotoxic and anticancer properties. (A, B, C, D, E, F, G)
- Increased Longevity: Several studies have shown a significant decrease in mortality associated with regular consumption of chili peppers. (A, B, C)
- Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension and Cholesterol: Diets containing chili peppers have shown a correlation with decreased cardiovascular mortality, improved blood pressure and potential for cholesterol reduction. (A, B, C, D)
- Osteoarthritis/Pain: Utilizing capsaicin shows potential improvement associated with chronic osteoarthritis pain, post-herpetic neuralgia and neuropathy. (A, B, C)
- Digestive Health: Chili peppers and capsaicin have been shown to have a gastroprotective effect in peptic ulcer disease, a beneficial effect on human gut microbiota and gastric emptying, and a potential to improve dysphagia symptoms. (A, B, C, D, E, F)
- Obesity: Regular consumption of capsaicinoids show a reduction in appetite and abdominal fat tissue levels, and an increase of energy expenditure. (A, B, C, D, E, F)
- Antimicrobial Benefits: Chilis inhibit various microbial pathogen growth, and have the potential to be used as antimicrobials. (A, B, C, D)
- Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes: The target receptor of capsaicin (TRPV1) is present on many metabolically active tissues, and may show potential to treat the cluster of risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and help regulate blood sugar levels. (A, B)
Further clinical studies are warranted and in progress. Please always consult your healthcare provider. This is not intended as medical advice.