by Ross, guest columnist and gastronomic daredevil
This just arrived direct from Pittsburgh. My girlfriend’s parents bought them for me. Normally, my palate would be intrigued by the idea of sweet peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone. However, in jar form, the concept is somewhat different (if not downright disturbing).
1) Side view: Somewhat interesting. Mostly benign.
2) Bottom view: To quote The Skwire (Mark): Usually this is the last thing you see. Then something really bad happens.
After much deliberation, and ignoring the pleas for my safety, I have decided to sample the ominous-looking “Banana Pepper Shooters” from Pittsburgh.
Pic 1: The peppers in their glory.
Pic 2: There was no reassuring ‘pop’ sound of the vacuum seal breaking. I am starting to get concerned. The smell emanating from the jar can only be described as similar to snorting a pickled egg off the floor of a vinegar factory. My nose hairs singe!
Pic 3: After much effort, I finally manage to fish out a pepper. The skin is amazingly tough and difficult to pierce with a fork. Is this some kind of super-pepper? Should I have brought kryptonite? Note the holes in side of the pepper. In about two minutes, these holes will miraculously vanish and heal.
Pic 4: I move in for a closer inspection, and abruptly wish I hadnâ€™t. Sweet Jesus, this thing is hideous.
Pic 5: Time to dissect the creature from the briny lagoon. To my surprise, there are recognizable ingredients inside, such as a readily-identifiable chunk of what is presumably the provolone. â€œNo, wait!â€ I tell myself. â€œItâ€™s a trick, an illusion!!â€ Too late. I am already hypnotized by its malevolent, pink eye.
Pic 6 â€“ Further dissection is warranted. The dark and morbid side of my nature wishes to unfold the mysteries of the Banana Pepper Shooter. But for now, Iâ€™ll settle for unfolding this ghastly meat-coloured substance. Again, I am taken aback by its uncanny resemblance to a real ingredient. In this case: prosciutto. I cut off a slab, andâ€¦
Pic 7 : I want my mommy.
Pic 8 : Hmm. Okay. How do I say this? Itâ€™s kinda good. The ingredients have good texture, the flavours are enhanced by the brine (rather than overpowered by it), and the pepper itself has a bit of heat under it. Iâ€™d better try it again.
Pic 9: Nope, I havenâ€™t been overcome by fumes and been hallucinating. Itâ€™s actually edible.
I guess this episode just goes to show that thereâ€™s more to the U.S. than just guns and oil barons. Now they have Cthulu Insanity Peppers.
Next time: Attack of the Kimchi
About Ross, Gastronomic Daredevil
Ross Armstrong is a raconteur, imbiber of scotch and eater of things that he probably shouldn’t. Donations to help pay for his gastroenterologist and psychotherapy bills can be sent via Paypay below: