An old Spanish tradition has found its way to the Davies Park Market this season again!
PIMIENTOS DE PADRON are small green peppers (5-7 centimetres long) unique to Padron, a region of south west Galicia in north west Spain, around 22 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela. Galicia is famous for its green landscape, spectacular coastline, high rainfall and delicious organic products from both the sea and land.
The peppers were originally cultivated in the 16th century in the small Padronian village of Hebron by monks in the monastery of Convento Franciscano who brought these peppers back from the Spanish colonies in South America, probably from what is now Mexico. Since that time , these peppers have been grown by the villagers, and after 400 years the Padronesses know the peppers like they know the members of their own families. When you buy Padron Peppers, you are getting a product from long tradition and loving care. And now the tradition of Pimientos de Padron continues on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, organically grown by Richard Mohan at Midyim Eco Produce Farm, Conondale. The season extends from December through to May and they are available at the Davies Park Market when the harvest comes.
Pimientos de Padron might be small but they have a load of flavour, with an incomparable sweet taste and delicate flesh. Further, the nutritional value of these seemingly unassuming peppers is extraordinary. They contain vitamin A, B1, B2, C, P, proteins, calcium, iron and virtually no calories. Pimientos de Padron also have many other special properties; approximately one in ten is hot and that is why they are sometimes known as the culinary “Russian Roulette” pepper.
The Hot Pepper also has many medicinal properties. It aids the digestive system, quickens scar tissue healing and helps to maintain good blood circulation as well as reducing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. But, maybe the most interesting property associated with the Hot Peppers is the fact that they are well known as an aphrodisiac!!!
“os Pimientos de Padron uns pican e outros non”
(The Peppers of Padron, some are hot and some not)
Although peppers are Richard Mohan’s most famous product, it is definitely not the only specialty he grows out of the fertile soil of Conondale.
His organic farm also produces rare varieties of tomatoes you will hardly find anywhere else in Australia.
One of such varieties are MUCHAMIEL TOMATOES.
This variety was once well-known in Spain, and especially highly regarded in the coastal region of Valencia (eastern Spain), from whence it hails. Mutxamel or Muchamiel is a village, now more of suburb, just outside the city of Alicante.
Flattish in shape, with deep vertical furrows and often reaching an impressive size. Local Spanish restaurants use them in a simple salad, dressed with extra virgin olive oil and salt, for which they charge a high price.
Oddly, given the high regard in which the variety is held locally in Spain, it has been allowed to decline almost to the verge of extinction.