Burlap & Barrell

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  • In southeastern Turkey, you'll find black Urfa chili (or its uncured red variety) on almost every table. It's delicious on kebabs and other grilled meats and veggies, cooked into stews and chilis, in salad dressings, sprinkled on fluffy scrambled eggs, and even mixed into brownies and other chocolate desserts for a little extra depth and a hint of heat. It's been getting some attention - here's what some folks have to say about it: “Game-changing spice for home cooks who think they have everything” Epicurious “The one I obsessed over in 2018.” Bon Appetit “It’s amazing! As a chef, I really get inspired by it." Chef Bill Telepan, Oceana "They've got these beautiful cocoa- and raisin-like flavors, they're lightly smoky, and they bring a lot of cool things to beer... as well as to poached eggs." Bryan Selders, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
    • Origin: Urfa, Turkey
    • Aliases: Urfa biber, isot pepper
    • Process: Cured in the sun and stone-ground
    • Ingredients: Urfa Chili, Sunflower Oil, Salt
    • Tasting notes: Raisin • Espresso • Summer Night
    COOKING SOURCING Black Urfa Chili starts out as a red, sweet and spicy pepper almost identical to the more famous Aleppo pepper. It's grown in the hills around the ancient Turkish city of Urfa, where the hot, dry days, cold nights and sandy soil are part of its unique terroir. After harvesting, it's cured in the sun, where it changes color from red to black and develops its characteristic flavor profile, reminiscent of chocolate and dried fruits, with a lingering burn. It goes through a final stone-grinding step, ground into flakes between massive granite wheels with a little bit of sea salt and oil. Meet the Farmer: Bekir Bey is a chili pepper farmer just outside the city of Urfa, and he was out picking peppers today in blazing 104-degree heat. He and his family cultivate about 12 acres of chili peppers, almost all of which will be cut up, fermented and ground into the famous black Urfa chili flakes. They spend about 10 months of the year planning, planting, tending, watering and harvesting these very special chili peppers. The combination of pepper variety (same as an Aleppo/silk chili), sandy soil, hot dry climate and very particular fermentation method all come together to create a pepper unlike any other in the world.
  • Our ground Black Lime is grown on a family farm in Guatemala, where ripe limes are dried in the sun until they oxidize, turning black and savory. A versatile ingredient common in Persian cooking, they have a savory, tart flavor that's great on roasted meat or vegetables, in stews and anywhere you'd use lime juice. It's also a good alternative to makrut / kaffir lime in southeast Asian dishes. The New York Times writes: "This is sour upon sour, a quick barb of citrus, and then the musk of fermentation beneath."
    • Origin: Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
    • Process: Sun-dried, then ground
    • Ingredients: 100% sun-dried Persian lime (Citrus latifolia), ground
    • Tasting notes: Bright Citrus • Garden Herbs • Tanned Leather
  • This cardamom is grown on a single estate in the cloud forests of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, a biodynamic farm using traditional organic methods. The farm emphasizes workers' rights, sustainability and fair business practices. The terroir is ideal for cardamom, which thrives in humid, high altitude environments with plenty of rainfall. The comparatively low temperatures in the mountains during the harvest season (November-January) ensures high levels of fragrant essential oils. This cardamom is sweet and tart, reminiscent of summer fruits, fresh herbs and cut grass. The cardamom fruit turns yellow as it ripens and has a slightly softer, sweeter flavor than standard green cardamom - but is perfect in recipes that call for green cardamom.
    • Origin: Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
    • Process: Hot air dried
    • Ingredients: 100% whole yellow cardamom pods (Elettaria cardamomum)
    • Tasting notes: Ginger • Apricots • Jungle Flowers
    COOKING SOURCING Guatemala exports 80% of the world’s cardamom, but the spice is virtually unknown in local markets. It is grown exclusively for export, mostly on tiny plots by indigenous farmers in the country’s remote mountainous region. A general lack of understanding of the spice’s usage, as well as the commoditization of the crop and near monopolization of the industry by a very small number of major exporters, keep small producers from cultivating higher quality products or accessing high-value markets. They grow tiny quantities of cardamom, which they must sell to coyotes and other middlemen as quickly as possible before the quality degrades. The structures of the industry keep farmers in a weak negotiating position that de-emphasizes quality and stifles farmers’ earning potential. Our cardamom is grown on one of the only single-estate cardamom farms in Guatemala, which is also one of the only farms to manage the supply chain in its entirety, from cultivation to harvesting, drying and export. They are constantly innovating, experimenting with cloning and other state of the art techniques to produce the finest spice possible. Cardamom is officially graded only by its size and green color - however, those factors don’t correlate to flavor. Yellow cardamom, however, is allowed to ripen fully, resulting in softer, fruitier, and overall more complex flavor. Meet the Farmer: Amilcar Pereira planted his first cardamom vine when he was 9. In the years since then, he has succeeded in creating the only vertically-integrated cardamom operation in Guatemala. His farming practices produce cardamom is so good that Saveur called the farmer shaking up the Guatemalan cardamom trade"
  • Our cobanero chili is a rare Mayan variety of chili pepper, only grown in the mountains around the city of Cobán in Guatemala. It has a lush, fruity aroma and a fierce, smoky heat that makes everything taste better. Perfect for anyone who appreciates true chili flavor. They're SO good - fruity like a peach, sweet, slightly smoky, and brightly spicy. Use caution - at 30,000-50,000 in Scoville units, these chilis pack a punch, they're spicier than serrano peppers and in the same range as cayenne peppers.
    • Origin: Coban, Guatemala
    • Process: Air dried
    • Ingredients: 100% whole direct cobanero chili pepper (Capsicum Annuum)
    • Tasting notes: Papaya • Roasted Corn • Fire
    COOKING
    • Throw a whole pepper into your chili
    • Chop into flakes and season pastas or vegetables
    • Add to your marinades or sauces for an extra kick
    SOURCING This is a really, really special chili varietal called a Cobanero Chili, only cultivated in the area around the city of Cobán in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. On previous visits, we couldn't find a direct source so we decide to grow them ourselves. Don Amilcar is our partner farmer in Guatemala that provides our cardamom and allspice. We already know and love his spices, so he was our ideal candidate. This is his first harvest of Cobaneros chilis, grown on his farm and picked and dried.
  • Our High Curcumin Turmeric is grown by a cooperative of organic farmers in Nicaragua. At 7.9% curcumin, this is the highest curcumin content we've ever seen, almost double other well-sourced turmerics. Washed in cold water, unpeeled and sun-dried, it has a rich, sweet flavor perfect for teas, desserts and savory dishes. Add whole slices to grains and rice, beans, and stews, make tea with hot water or milk, or blend into smoothies.
    • Origin: Diriamba, Nicaragua
    • Aliases: Tumeric
    • Process: Sun-dried
    • Ingredients: 100% USDA Organic turmeric (Curcuma longa), unpeeled
    • Tasting notes: Carrot • Fresh Ginger • Dried Apricot
    COOKING
    • Add a few slices to your next pot of rice, beans, or stew
    • Boil in water with ginger slices for a stomach easing tea
    • Blend into smoothies, blended soups, or grate over meat dishes
  • Our Royal Cinnamon has been harvested in the mountains around the ancient Vietnamese capital city of Huế for milennia. The same species as Saigon cinnamon (cinnamomum loureiroi), royal cinnamon is an heirloom variety not widely harvested or exported, and exemplifies the intense sweetness and spiciness for which Vietnamese cinnamon is prized. Use it in place of Saigon or other cinnamons in pastries and baked goods, or sprinkle into rich, savory meat or tomato-based dishes. If you're looking for cinnamon that's less sweet and spicy and more citrusy and complex, check out our Cinnamon Verum.  What They're Saying: "When my friends quizzed me on the exact ingredients, I was forced to fess up and pass around the jar of cinnamon that was solely responsible for the cake's "wow" factor...Compared to any other ground cinnamon, this is powerful stuff." Bon Appetit / Healthyish
  • These summery and spicy Silk Chili come from Kahramanmaras, Turkey. Also known as marash pepper, the Silk Chili is botanically identical to the Aleppo pepper, which has been cultivated in Syria for centuries. Due to the ongoing violence of the Syrian civil war, true Aleppo chili is unfortunately no longer available for import. Our silk chili is naturally preserved with a little bit of salt and sunflower seed oil to keep them fresh and flavorful. They have a warm, tomato-like flavor and a medium heat, similar to Espelette and Korean chilis. Use in any dish in need of a little excitement, from scrambled eggs to burgers to brownies. Perfect for cooking or finishing.
    • Origin: Kahramanmaras, Turkey
    • Aliases: Aleppo pepper, Marash / Maras pepper, pul biber
    • Process: Sun-dried and stone-ground
    • Ingredients: Silk Chili (Capsicum annuum), sunflower seed oil, salt
    • Tasting notes: Roasted Tomato • Honey • Mediterranean Sun
    COOKING SOURCING These chilis undergo a traditional drying and grinding process that results in a chili flake with a very smooth, slippery texture. Historically, the chilis were ground using silk ropes, and although more modern grinding machines are used today, the tradition is commemorated in the name silk chili. Meet the Farmer: Hilmi Bey got into the pepper business 40 years ago when he was working as a cook and couldn't find good peppers. He and his brother bought a few sacks from farmers they knew around their native Maras, carried them 18 hours on a train to Istanbul, and walked the streets of the city shouting that they had peppers to sell. From that original entrepreneurial instinct, Hilmi has built a pepper business that he's now turning over to his son.
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