I began using Aleppo pepper back in the mid-1980s when I lived across the street from a "blended" family from Cyprus/Turkey, and it was very difficult to find, I would go on shopping excursions with them to stores in ethnic enclaves.
I was given a few recipes and taught how to make a version of mahammara in which to dip pita or crudites, or ??? they made soft pretzels for dipping.
I explored more recipes when I got Paula Wolfert's book about Eastern Mediterranean foods (1994).
It's not as hot as the common crushed red pepper flakes and the seeds are removed before the treated and dried peppers are ground - it tastes a little bit salty/sweet, with a hint of smoke and if you use enough, there is a lemony aftertaste - I think lemon juice is used in the curing with salt. But I'm not totally sure.
I decided to stock up because of the problems in Syria, which much of it is produced, although this is sourced from Turkey - the shop owner believes prices are going to go up soon on it and other commodities from that area.
It can be used any where you would use red pepper flakes, if you like eggplant, you will not believe what a little of this pepper, cooked briefly in oil, can do to it. Better than candy. (I love eggplant.)
It's wonderful on cheese, in omelets or just on eggs, mix with oil and rub all over chicken pieces before cooking in the oven, use less salt, because this is just a bit salty.
It also does wonders for bean, both fresh green and dried - or any pulse.
Perhaps it's not correct in that part of the world, but I like it on pork - in pork gravy, made after frying pork chops. It is also a great spice for homemade sausage.
I wondered why the light on my camera was blinking and just realized I had not downloaded the other photo - of some olives and a package of "Sweet Cheese" - the latter made in Sun Valley, CA by the Karoun Dairy.
The owner insisted on giving me samples of all the olives - 8 or 9 bulk varieties and suggested I would really enjoy these. They are huge and very tasty, not too briny as some of the others were. Lots of good flavor.
Edited by andiesenji, 19 March 2012 - 09:35 PM.