Q: Hi Dave,
I’ve just discovered the joy of dried chiles! I get such a kick out of toasting the pods and making my own chile powder. How do you recommend storing dried chiles, such as pasilla and ancho? Also, I understand they have banned the import of Sichuan Pepper into the States. I have had no luck tracking anything down and am wondering if it is available anywhere, perhaps in the ground form. I have a much-loved recipe that calls for fresh ground peppercorns, and have had no luck finding a substitute. Thanks!
A: Hello Theresa:
The best way to store pasillas and anchos, to prevent mold or excessive drying, is to double bag them and freeze them. I have not been able to find any information about the banning of Sichuan Pepper, or fagara. You are correct that it is difficult to find, but I tracked down two sources:
You can substitute black peppercorns or melegueta pepper, the Grains of Paradise.