If you are like me, who enjoys using spices for cooking and as a pair to your food, you’ll undoubtedly come across this question; are red pepper flakes the same as crushed chilies? With this in mind, there are indeed plenty of pepper and chili varieties, making it difficult to know the answer to this question on your own.
Are red pepper flakes and crushed chilies the same thing? The answer to this question would be no. There are differences between red pepper flakes and crushed chilis, commonly referred to as chili flakes. In this article, these differences will be further discussed.
A Brief History of Chili Peppers
I kept remembering the potent chile and how the trade lines that connected the Portuguese empire’s many colonies gave rise to its initial fame. One of the most intriguing examples of a straightforward, potent food with a nuanced history is the chili pepper.
Numerous origin hypotheses identify Brazil, Mexico, and certain other regions of South America as “the” origins of chilies. These “little red, spherical, berry-like fruits” of the natural capsicum existed. They are indigenous to a region anywhere along the Andes from western towards north-western South America, according to a 2016 genetic analysis comprising 24 of such 35 Capsicum strains, both spicy and non-spicy.
Investigators in South America have discovered flakes of Capsicum starch upon grinding stones and cooking utensils found in home floors in southwest Ecuador that date until about 6,000 years ago. The oldest chili peppers from the area have been discovered as microfossil remnants.
The production of pumpkin, maize, tapioca, and other crops is frequently mentioned in Mesoamerican records, but chiles are rarely mentioned. However, an archeological investigation using microfossils has revealed that chile consumption in Mesoamerica may have begun as early as 400 BCE.
What Are Red Pepper Flakes?
Red pepper flakes, similar to chili flakes, are mainly dried peppers that are grounded and utilized as a spice in different dishes. These give more depth, flavor, and heat due to their distinct pepper combinations.
The compositions of red pepper flakes are compounded ground peppers, a mix of more than one type of pepper. You will find a possible combination of bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, red cayenne peppers, Jalapenos, and Fresno peppers. Thus, this assortment and intricacy influence the heat and taste of such red pepper flakes.
What Are Chili Flakes?
When talking about chili, flakes are composed of crushed or dried ground peppers. These are made using different chili peppers. Some commonly preferred types are Urfa Biber, Chipotle, and Aleppo chili peppers.
What sets chili flakes apart are their characteristic features. This only uses types of chili peppers to make sure that flavors are well-preserved and have a uniform kind of heat to any dish.
The Difference in Color
Throughout the procedure of turning chili peppers into chili flakes, seeds are removed, then dried. The process makes the chili flakes have a uniform red color.
Moreover, since chili peppers are used to create chili flakes, the color is expected to be just red, ranging from a darker to a brighter red, depending on the type of chili used.
On the other, as implied by its name, red pepper flakes are also often red. However, due to the different peppers used, these could have other red shades and white hues, not like the chili flakes’ uniform red color.
If you love hot or spicier meals, red pepper flakes are preferable. These are used for soups, sauces, pasta, and other dishes.
The Difference in Taste
When it comes to taste, each variation of chili pepper has its distinct taste. Thus, aside from mild kicks, you may also notice a savory and sweet taste in the meal.
Yes. Chili flakes are spicy. Compared to red pepper flakes, this would be milder and packed with flavor, making it an excellent start for those who aren’t yet used to spicy meals. These individuals will have a powerfully combined flavor and heat.
The spice and kick of the red chili pepper flakes depend on the type and amount of pepper mixture. It may span from moderate to extra spicy. Using red chili pepper flakes, it is a must to be reminded that a bit of touch of it pretty much goes a long way.
In determining the red pepper flakes’ heat level without having to taste them, check the description, the peppers used, and possibly, if included, an indication of its spice level.
Similarities between Red Chili Pepper Flakes and Chili Flakes
- Although both are different, there are still somehow some identifiable similarities between the two:
- Both Chili and Red Chili Pepper Flakes are made of ground peppers.
- Although one is milder, these two still fall into spicy and hot categories.
- Either of the two you choose both is flexible and packed with flavor, making it perfect and ideal to be used in any meal.
Differences between Red Chili Pepper Flakes and Chili Flakes
- The distinction between red pepper and chili flakes, aside from color and taste, is in their ingredients and use:
- Possibly the most significant distinction between the two flakes is what is used to make them. Making chili pepper flakes only requires a single type of chili pepper. For this reason, there is a singularity in the flavor profile you’ll get with chili flakes. On the other hand, making red chili pepper flakes requires a mixture of different chili types.
- If you are going for a meal that is friendly to everyone, chili flakes are the way to go. It has the right spice, just enough to keep you wanting more of the meal served. Red chill pepper flakes are preferred for those who want a more robust and bolder spicy kick.
Can both flakes be substituted for each other?
The answer is yes. Chili and red pepper flakes can be used as a substitution for each other. It is, however, essential to be reminded that the red pepper flakes have a heavier kick and spice, so if you are going for lighter sauce, it is suggested you stick to using the chili flakes.
What Should be Noted?
With these, you indeed get a good variety of flavor, kick, and heat. It is just a must to remember the following:
- Only one type of pepper is used in making chili flakes. On the other hand, making red pepper flakes must be out of mixing different kinds of peppers.
- In comparison to red pepper flakes, chili flakes are milder. For those who are looking for higher spice, red pepper flakes are for you.
- For a meal that will be served to those who are not yet accustomed to higher spices, chili flakes are preferred to give you only slight hints of spice. Red pepper flakes are used for dishes that require truly hot and spicy flavors.