Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tinian Hot Pepper

Blaze with the fire that is never extinguished. -- Luisa Sigea, Portuguese scholar

Just as hot as the molten lava oozing from the Big Island of Hawai'i's Mt. Kilauea, Tinian's "donne sali" is also as red and as fiery.

Though tiny, they pack a mighty punch. Their size can range from tiny like an apple pip (the wild ones) to slightly larger and more elongated (the cultivated ones), but whatever the size, the calescence will leave you gulping for air and gasping for water. (Though at times like these, downing a glass of milk helps to tone down the heat on the tongue better than water!) The draw, however, is not so much that it is pika, but rather they add incredible flavor and aroma to foods. Ask anyone who's tried the stuff -- they will confess that even the distinct aroma can cause you to salivate.

Local stores on island, like the well-known Fleming Store, are well-stocked with home-made concoctions of hot pepper sauces brought in by locals. A varying degree of recipes and styles using the star ingredient, donne sali, abounds.

The traditional style is "wet," also called dinanche.

Another type in a pure, powdered form is Tun Ku's Tinian Hot Pepper.
Sprinkle (nori katsuo) furikake and Tun Ku's Tinian Hot Pepper flakes on rice for a truly satisfying dish!

Ask for Deborah Fleming, and she'll happily arrange to send you jars of the stuff, even to Guam or the mainland U.S., but beware the blaze, you've been warned!

Tel.: +1 (670) 433-3232
Fax: +1 (670) 433-3230
Mobile: +1 (670) 483-0714


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