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Back From the US With Ghosts :)

ghost bhut dried chilies thai

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#1 emanphoto

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 01:11 AM

Just back from freezin' my butt in the US for a month and glad to be back in BKK with high temps and VERY high pollution! It's like freakin' Beijing here.   :mad:

 

While in the US I was excited to get lots of dried ghost chilies as well as bubblers and dried Mexican chilies (chipotle etc) that I can't find here in TH.  So I'm ready to start my next ferment!

 

I bought 2 different brands of ghosts while there.  Freida's, which are in most grocery stores now it seems, and I also ordered a 1/2 lb of dry ghosts from the ghostpepperstore.com since they are located in Alton, Ill near where I was staying in St. Louis.  

 

I took a taste of Freida's and found them to be distinctly salty tasting.  I wrote the company and eventually heard back that nothing is added to them.  My tastebuds say otherwise but OK.  

 

I just tried the tip of a ghost from ghostpepperstore.com and there was no saltiness to it.  Spicy but not lingering and building as I had worried.  Does anyone have any experience with either of these chili brands?

 

ghost-peppers1.jpg

IMG53571.jpg

 

My first and only experience with a ghost sauce previously was Mad Dog Inferno which, with a small drop on a tortilla chip, set me on  :fireball: and kept building.  I eventually went to the sink to rinse my mouth!  Subsequent research into that sauce showed that they use extract which is cheating in my book.

 

Thanks for any comments on these 2 brands of chilies!  I'll be following up with my sauce recipe questions in a separate post.   :onfire:  I'm off to the store to get my fresh chiles etc to get these ferments cookin'!

 

 

 


Edited by emanphoto, 15 January 2019 - 01:14 AM.


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#2 Pharthan

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 10:50 PM

Holy crap, that's awesome, both for you and me. You for getting the peppers you wanted, but I had no idea that they had a store so close to where I grew up/where my parents still live! (About 20 minutes drive east of Alton, IL.)

I hope you enjoyed Illinois.
Lots of corn... that's about it.

Keep us up to date, I'm planning on doing some ghost pepper ferments.



#3 emanphoto

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 12:12 AM

We were in Chicago and St. Louis it was 17° when we landed in Chicago coming from 90° in Bangkok so not so pleasant for us.  

I don't think that http://ghostpepperstore.com has a retail store and there's no direct phone number.  They do respond to emails but are out of fresh peppers for now.  

 

We didn't have a car and $#%$$#ing Uber was $2 a kilometer.   A trip to downtown st. louis cost $40 and the same distance in Bangkok would cost you $12 using Grab app which is our Uber.  I could get another 1/2lb of dried ghosts for that price!  Effen expensive there and glad to be back here despite the crappy air.  

Today we're washing and smoking the thai chilies and bells.  You can see how excited our maid is about having to help today. ;)  6+kilos of thai chilies, 4+kilos bell, 4+kilos of prik chee fa.  Gonna be a busy day!

 

IMG6221.jpg

 

Holy crap, that's awesome, both for you and me. You for getting the peppers you wanted, but I had no idea that they had a store so close to where I grew up/where my parents still live! (About 20 minutes drive east of Alton, IL.)

I hope you enjoyed Illinois.
Lots of corn... that's about it.

Keep us up to date, I'm planning on doing some ghost pepper ferments.

 



#4 Hab_Nut

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 08:58 PM

Be very careful handling those pods! I know that's standard advice but these are not like other dried pods. As they are with flavor, so they are with hot skin - rubbing an eye, etc. You may think you've cleaned it off but it can surprise you with its ability to still be there much later.

 

I grew my own for the first time this year. I decided to dry/grind them because I knew I'd be using them slowly and I didn't want to have a sauce waiting. The drying began on a kettle grill over charcoal and a bit of hickory chunk for a bit of smoke flavor.

 

I've been enjoying a blend I made which is about 20% ghost flake and the rest is a typical seasoning combination of salt, garlic and onion powders, cumin, etc. I like it, and a LITTLE BIT goes a long way. The ghost heat is a bit slow to come on fully, like habs, but the sustain is much longer.

 

And I learned: that sustain applies to fingertips, too. I'm used to tolerating some burn because it goes away after a while, but these things will stay with you for a very long time.



#5 emanphoto

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 09:31 PM

Aye yes I know.  I tried another piece of Frieda's after getting an email from them saying no salt is added to their chilies.  I call BS on that.  I took another small piece pictured here, bigger than the first one, immediately tasted salt again.  That's a TV remote and kitchen scissors.  

Then I began to regret it! LOL.

Presently I have 3 batches of sauce fermenting.  I started with these quantities before smoking and cleaning.

Red Bell 2400gms

Prik Chee Fa 4 Kilos/4000gms

Thai Chilies 6.7 kilos

20 heads of garlic 675gms

Shallots 255gms

3 onions 544gms

Distributed amongst the 3 varieties of sauce are 107 ghost chilies, the most hot having 60 pods in 4 liters of the above mix. :)

 

So for whatever reason Frieda's DOES taste salty from the one bag I tried.  I can't say that it is certainly salt in there.  Perhaps soaking a piece to get it into solution and then adding to a solution of silver nitrate would tell me if salt is present.  https://youtu.be/k9EmnTBibLY?t=76

IMG6216.jpg



#6 Hab_Nut

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:09 PM

What did it take to get them into the country - inspection, certifications, etc.?

 



#7 emanphoto

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:15 PM

Nothing.  

There is no declaration forms either.  "Everyone knows" you can only bring 2 bottles of booze and 2 cartons of cigs into TH but other than that, I know of nothing.  We came in from Japan once with a case or 2 of fresh persimmons.  It was the first time I was called aside at customs.  They xrayed the boxes and sent me on my way. :)  My guess is that, because of the cardboard boxes they were packed in, I was singled out.  


Edited by emanphoto, 30 January 2019 - 10:19 PM.


#8 Pharthan

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 08:26 AM

Aye yes I know.  I tried another piece of Frieda's after getting an email from them saying no salt is added to their chilies.  I call BS on that.  I took another small piece pictured here, bigger than the first one, immediately tasted salt again.  That's a TV remote and kitchen scissors.  

Then I began to regret it! LOL.

Presently I have 3 batches of sauce fermenting.  I started with these quantities before smoking and cleaning.

Red Bell 2400gms

Prik Chee Fa 4 Kilos/4000gms

Thai Chilies 6.7 kilos

20 heads of garlic 675gms

Shallots 255gms

3 onions 544gms

Distributed amongst the 3 varieties of sauce are 107 ghost chilies, the most hot having 60 pods in 4 liters of the above mix. :)

 

So for whatever reason Frieda's DOES taste salty from the one bag I tried.  I can't say that it is certainly salt in there.  Perhaps soaking a piece to get it into solution and then adding to a solution of silver nitrate would tell me if salt is present.  https://youtu.be/k9EmnTBibLY?t=76

IMG6216.jpg

 

The problem with trying silver nitrate is that it's rather sensitive to salt. Residual salt on knives, fingers, cutting boards, etc. could cause it to cloud; even a dirty test tube can give you bad results. You'd probably have to find some sort of calculator to determine how much you need to dilute the silver nitrate.



#9 emanphoto

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 10:10 AM

Yes care is needed and distilled water.  

For basic photo chemistry. which is why I even have AgNO3, distilled water was fine and my darkroom graduates never contaminated it enough to throw down a precipitate which would render it useless for my darkroom purposes. A piece of the "unsalted' ghosts, i.e. the non-Frieda brand, would have to be used as a control to compare.  

 

Organics will darken the AgNO3 solution over time.  I used AgNO3 to make albumen prints back when I had a darkroom in the US and as sheets of albumenized paper were dragged thru the solution to sensitize it to make prints, the solution would get darker and darker till powdered kaolin would be need to be added to remove the discoloration.  Sorry for all the OT info!  It's so seldom I get to talk historical analog photo tech anymore. ;)


Edited by emanphoto, 31 January 2019 - 11:10 AM.






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