hi there - i had recently found out a few things since this gothamist post. a reader let me know that these very well could have been shishito peppers, read here for more: http://blog.foodienyc.com/2005/04/a_must_try_shis.html
also, i have since stumbled upon the larger green pimentos de padron in NYC markets which i have eaten a lot in barcelona, prepared pretty much the same way....
September 26, 2005 10:05 AM
Hey Joe, thanks for the info. I'll keep an eye out for the shishito peppers. There are a couple of Asian markets in Chicago that might have them.
September 26, 2005 10:12 AM
Wow, Barrett, I think my dear husband would like an invite to your next experiment. And I wouldn't say no either!
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September 26, 2005 11:15 AM
Barrett, I've been to Tia Pol in NY and Joe is right, they use Japanese shisito peppers. Pimientos de padron, which is what the dish is trying to emulate, are available this time of year from www.latienda.com. Tia Pol uses shisitos, I imagine, because they are much more affordable and somehow available year round. You're right that the peppers should be sweet (although the fun of padron peppers is that 1 out of 10 is really spicy). You're also right that Gernika is the name for the Basque city, spelled Guernica in Spanish. I had those peppers in San Sebastian in July and they, too, were mostly sweet, with the occasional hot one.
September 26, 2005 11:37 AM
Brett - great info. Thanks.
I'll try to find the right peppers, but I have to admit, I had a moment of revelation while watching a travel show. They were in a market in Mexico City and one of the locals told them there were over 150 TYPES of peppers in that market alone.
That's a lot of potential experimentation.
September 26, 2005 11:47 AM
I have found Shishito peppers at Mitsuwa Market in Arlington Hieghts. These are the peppers you want for the dish being discussed. A note: though mostly mild I have found about 1 in 10 of the Shishitos to be pretty hot.
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