In a nutshell: A unique smoked chilli from Chile, sun-dried then smoked in a mud oven with eucalyptus wood, for a full fruity and hot flavour.
Cacho de Cabra (“aji” is the term generally used to describe chilies from South American countries) is a smoked chilli grown in Chile. It’s one of the most common ingredients in native Mapuche cooking, and is experiencing newfound popularity in contemporary Chilean cuisine. It’s also the pepper used in the famous Merken spice blend, which usually also contains toasted coriander and salt.
It can be used, ground, in a plethora of dishes: grilled meat, poultry marinades, chilli con carne, soups and stir fried dishes. It can also be rehydrated and used for aromatic chili pastes, braising, sauces, or dips of all types.
Our cacho de cabra comes from the Maule region in the centre of Chile. The harvest runs from December to March, when temperatures stay above 30° C. These high temperatures give this chilli pepper its body, heat, and exceptional flavour. These peppers are harvested by hand, then allowed to sun dry naturally. After being exposed to the sun, the chillies are rested in a mud smoker, usually with local eucalyptus wood, for around a week.
Heat Rating 7/10
About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.