Tap de Cortí red chilli

Ark of taste
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Chillies are picked at different times, up to 3-4 times a year, when the fruit is very ripe and possibly when the plant has lost its humidity. Ideally, chillies are dried in the sun in “enfilall”, traditional helix-shaped chilli garlands (usually with three points) hung on the façades of houses for about 15 days, according to a few variables such as climate. In this way, chillies do not lose their antioxidant – vitamin C – which makes them a perfect preservative for the preparation of “sobressada”. They are then placed in an oven at a low temperature (less than 50-60° C) to eliminate the remaining humidity and facilitate the following grinding operation. Chillies are taken out of the oven, stems are removed leaving in the majority of seeds, and they are chopped before grinding with a stone; 5 to 6 grinding procedures are recommended. Finally, they are sieved. Chillies are used as a preservative for the preparation of “sobressada” and give it its peculiar red colour and intense flavour. They are also used as spices in the traditional recipes of the Balearic Islands, especially stews, similarly to paprika.   Traditionally, chilli plants were grown mainly in the villages of Pòrtol, Santa María del Camí and Sant Jordi, as well as in Llucmajor, Campos, Muro, Sant Joan, Felanitx and Manacor. The façades of houses in these villages were typically covered by hundreds of garlands – or “enfilalls” – of chillies left out in the sun. Nails can still be found on some of these façades, although it is about 25-30 years that walls covered by chillies are no longer seen.

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Islas Baleares