Gambling with padrons

Padron peppers: are you game?

A box arrived in the post, a big one, packed with padron peppers. They were plump, bright green ones, picked the day before by Garry Crittendon, the pioneering winemaker on the Mornington Penisula, who first planted vines there in 1982 at the age of 28.

These padrons were far larger and more vibrant in color than any I’ve seen for sale in some of the better food stores and in Melbourne’s markets. They looked and smelt so, so fresh.

If you haven’t tried padrons before – or Pimientos de Padrón in Spanish – you should know that eating them is like playing Russian Roulette with something like one-in-seven (or ten) being remarkably hot, enough to make one weep sometimes.

They are best eaten fried as a pre-dinner snack with a crisp glass of sherry (fino I’d suggest) or a crisp textural white. Or, hell, a gin and tonic. Or an ice-cold beer.

As Garry sent the padrons to me I’ll nominate the Los Hermanos 2009 Tributo a Galicia (Savagnin) which is a gorgeous textural wine with some lovely stone fruit and lemon zest to it and is made by Garry’s son Rollo.


Anyway that wine is another story as is the social media and internet advice I gave the family; this is about Weekend Herb Blogging #284, a weekly internet event, which I haven’t joined in ages, years in fact since Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen founded it. This week it was hosted by Cafe LynnyLu, as organised by Haalo.


All you have to do is rinse the padrons and dry them before shall frying them in olive oil until they blister. Remove and drain out the oil on a kitchen towel (I often use newspaper to be eco although it is less absorbant). Sprinkly with some good salt, my preferred choice being pink Murray River salt. You can hardly call this a recipe it’s so simple.

Then eat. Drink. Eat more. Not only are they a great healthy appetizer but the unexpected hot ones a talking point too.

If you want to buy padrons in Australia, I found this site here. But I’ve saved some seeds and plan to grow my own. But that’s yet another story to come in the southern hemisphere spring.


  1. Leaf, they aren’t spike through the tongue hot but they are hot enough to elicit a few tears.

  2. Definitely something to spice up a dinner party, in more ways than one! I’m curious to know how hot the really hot ones are.

  3. Hi Kayln,long time no speak! They are great fun to cook at home and you should get some into your veggie patch.

    Christie, ah Sangria! That’s really playing dangerously.

  4. Very jealous you got a box of these! Playing padron ‘roulette’ in Spain was my favourite afternoon past time (in addition to drinking many jugs of Sangria!) 🙂

  5. I had these once in San Francisco but the ones I got were all fairly mild. I do think they would be loads of fun to cook at home!