Kristin Donnelly
August 21, 2007

Red pepper flakes are a staple in my kitchen—they give me an easy way to add a jolt of heat to everything from pasta to marinated steak when I don’t have fresh chiles around. The flakes’ flavor, however, is hardly complex and could never stand in for, say, the fresh, vegetal heat of a jalapeño. That’s why I was thrilled to find the new jalapeño and chipotle chile flakes from Victoria Gourmet at the Fancy Food Show last month. The jalapeño flakes are a lovely olive color with almost a tangy scent, like the pico de gallo I might throw them into. The smoky chipotle flakes are a little more dense, with a jerky-like texture that’s so addictive, I would eat them plain if it weren’t for the searing heat. With potatoes or on a grilled cheese sandwich, however, I don’t think I could resist overdosing.

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