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The Calabrian chili pepper can be a mouthwatering addition to many dishes. Hailing from the Calabria region of Italy, this chili has a unique combination of flavors. Hints of fruit, smoke, and salt peek through the initial hot and spicy facade.
Though the Calabria chili is much loved for its flavor, there are times you may need to substitute the juicy pepper.
One reason is that this type of chili is, for the most part, only grown in Calabria, Italy. This can make it difficult to source. It may also be too spicy or hot for personal tastes.
Whatever the reason, the pepper world is full of great alternatives. Below are 5 Calabrian chili substitutes. Let’s give them a check!
5 Best Calabrian Chili Substitutes
Red Chili Flakes
Almost any chef (professional and amateur alike) will tell you the best substitute for Calabrian chili is red chili flakes. The flakes have almost the same spicy taste as the Calabrian chili.
Since they are dry, they won’t have Calabria’s juiciness. They do, however, have the same salty, fruity taste. Since they come in a container, it’s easy to customize how much or how little you use.
Chili flakes are available at all supermarkets and can be kept for long periods in your pantry. The flakes are great not only for specialty dishes. They are tasty on everything from eggs to pizza! Chili flakes are a great addition to any table!
For those who may be sensitive to the heat and spice the Calabria chili brings, the Anaheim pepper is a great alternative. These peppers are grown in Mexico and are plentiful.
The Anaheim is much milder than the Calabria. So if you have a sensitive stomach or tender taste buds, this pepper is a great choice.
The land is between 500 and 2500 on the Scoville chili heat scale. To give you an idea, the heat scale ranges from 0 (a bell pepper) to 2,200,000 ( a Carolina Reaper).
Anaheim has become quite popular because of its great taste and mild flavor. They are extremely versatile and tasty. They have a great crunch if chosen to be eaten raw. These chilies are fabulous additions to salads, pasta, and soups.
They are easy to grow if you are so inclined. Just a few seeds could give you enough stuffed peppers to feed your neighbors for weeks!
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Named after the region in which it grows, the Serrano pepper is another excellent substitute for the Calabria. It looks like a Jalapeno. However, it’s up to 5 times hotter with a heat scale score of 5,000 to 15,000.
The Serrano has almost the same heat as the Calabria but is a tad bit milder. It has an earthy and grassy taste.
This chili pepper is loaded with great stuff. It’s like nature’s multivitamin. Calcium, iron, vitamin C, B, and K are just some of the nutrients contained in Anaheim.
The Habanero pepper is another excellent Calabrian chili substitute. This pepper originated in the Amazon and is just as hot as the jungle climate. They are now grown in most parts of the United States. Started from seed, they are planted outside after the last frost.
The Habanero has a hot yet floral-fruity taste similar to the Calabrian chili. Only use the Habanero if you want some major kick in your food. Like its Italian counterpart, the Habanero contains a chemical called capsaicin.
This allows the taste buds to feel like they are burning. There are wide varieties of Habanero. From the more mild White Habanero to the hottest Chocolate Habanero.
LEARN MORE: 6 Piquillo Peppers Substitutes
The old stand by. Hot sauce is a great Calabrian chili substitute for a variety of reasons. You probably already have some in your pantry.
It’s available everywhere, from the supermarket to the convenience store. More importantly, it is nowhere near as hot as the Calabria chili.
Hot sauce is usually mixed with other ingredients than just chili. This is great for folks who have stomach troubles or are prone to heartburn. The hot sauce comes in a multitude of flavors and heat intensity.
A small splash or a downpour. With hot sauce, you are in charge. You can use it on everything from scrambled eggs to corn on the cob.
Though the Calabrian chili is a delicious pepper, it is not always an option. As stated, you may have trouble locating it. Perhaps it’s too hot or spicy for you. Maybe you just prefer something that won’t overtake the food and your senses.
You want something that is no muss or is always on hand. Whatever the case may be, we hope you find these 5 Calabrian Chili substitutes valuable and tasty! They offer fabulous alternatives for just about all tastes and sensibilities.