On a recent visit to Spice Station, we became so captivated by the aroma of Urfa biber that we had to bring some of this intriguing spice home…Also known as Isot pepper, Urfa biber is a sun-dried pepper from the Urfa region of Turkey. Reddish-black in color with a high moisture content, it almost resembles soil or coffee grounds. The fragrance is deeply sweet and fruity with a little tobacco smokiness. The flavor has been compared to raisins with a hint of chocolate, and the heat is mild yet lasting.
This complex chile is so addictive that we have been sneaking little nibbles straight from the spice cupboard! We also discovered that it makes a good finishing spice over pasta and roasted vegetables. Some cooks have been using it in sweets and chocolate dishes – check out this brownie recipe from Habeas Brûlée.
Have you used Urfa biber?
• Find it: Urfa Biber, $3.25 per ounce at Spice Station
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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