Urfa Biber Flakes (Isot Pepper)
Urfa Biber or Isot pepper is a salty, spicy, deep maroon Turkish chili pepper named after the southeastern Urfa region of Turkey. It is similar to its Syrian relative, Aleppo pepper (pul biber).
What makes Urfa pepper so special is that, not only is it dried, like most chilies, but it’s also fermented. The chilies are left on the plant to ripe into a dark red color. It’s then sun-dried during the day and tightly wrapped in fabric or plastic to “sweat” at night, preserving the pepper’s natural oils on its skin. This process is known as sweating and it lasts for about a week.
The pepper is then crushed and packed with salt to prevent clumping, maintaining a slightly moist, oily texture.
The flavor profile of isot pepper is sour, spicy, and smoky with notes of coffee, chocolate, raisin, and tobacco. It pairs well with cumin, coriander, sumac, paprika, and za'atar.
Dried Chili Peppers, Salt, and Oil
Traditionally used in meat and savory foods, Urfa Biber is a natural seasoning for all kinds of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes from hummus, meatballs, lamb, pilaf, kebabs, and baba ganoush, egg dishes, roasted vegetables, cheese to standing in anywhere you’d use crushed red pepper.
Nowadays, it is even added to chocolate and caramel-based desserts.
◉ Should be stored in airtight glass containers -in a cool, dark, and dry place- to preserve the flavor, texture, and properties.