One part of my job that I really enjoy is building relationships with spice companies across the country. One shop that we work closely with is Curio Spice Co in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Located across the river from where Gideon and I met, Curio is a woman-owned B-Corp® that sources incredible spices from farms in the U.S. and throughout the world. They specialize in unique blends and spices that you really won’t find anywhere else.
Curio has carried our chiles in their shop for the past 7 years or so and last year we custom grew a specific chile just for them. The plants were more productive than what we anticipated, which means we get to share this new chile powder with you too!
Don’t be fooled by the sweet name of ‘Sugar Rush Peach’. This chile clocks in at one of the spicier chiles we’ve grown and while it does have sugary flavors to it, the heat is very much there. It is super sweet to begin with - with noticeable flavors of peach, bell pepper, and mango.
Then the heat starts to rise up. This pepper is aptly named as it brings a bright fruity heat. It’s also quite rare to see any hot chile powder that is not bright red or orange in color. And as far as I can tell, the only place you can get this chile powder is from us and from Curio Spice (and we grew all of it!). *Note: we haven't added sugar to this chile powder. It's naturally sweet in flavor!*
I’m a big fan of Josh Mamaclay, the Marketing and Engagement Manager at Curio, and his ability to perfectly describe the nuanced flavors of different spices and come up with a wide array of uses for each one. Josh's skill shown through when describing the Sugar Rush, noting it pairs well with fruit-based desserts - think of a broiled pineapple or roasted peach a la mode with a bit of the Sugar Rush chile powder on top. Or possibly a strawberry-peach galette with sugar rush and mascarpone or ricotta whipped cream to offset the heat.
It also works well with cocktails - you could make a seasoning with equal parts citrus zest, Sugar Rush, cane sugar, and flake salt to coat the rim of a mezcal cocktail.
You could also try mixing it into a mango salsa. If you are thinking more savory, pair heavily spiced meat kebabs or kofte with a yogurt sauce made of greek yogurt, tahini, lime juice, salt, and the Sugar Rush. Or add it to a scallop or shrimp ceviche.
These chiles were fun to grow but a bit of work to harvest. The plants were literally dripping with chiles and we'd have to stick ourselves into the middle canopy of the plants to find the ripe chiles that had turned from yellow to orangey-peach in color. They are really different than any other chile we have on the farm.
Boonville Barn on Ingredient Insider's Podcast
Last September, John Magazino and Andrea Parkins from our food service distributor, The Chefs’ Warehouse, stopped by the farm to record an episode of their podcast Ingredient Insiders. We talked about how we started growing Espelette chiles to make Piment d’Ville and what it’s like to grow chiles here in Boonville. They also stopped by The Boonville Hotel to speak to Executive Chef Perry Hoffman about how he uses Piment d’Ville at his restaurant. You can listen on Spotify or watch the interview on YouTube.
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