Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes

Double Chili Cheeseburger
2011/08/02 03:13:04
I'm slogging through some old Florida recipes that are probably from the '40-50's or maybe even earlier.  An ingredient some recipes call for is vinegar pepper in tablespoons and 1/4-1/3 cup amounts, it's also mentioned as an addition to beans and greens after serving, so it must be the same as a condiment of the period. I still can remember when restaurants had the bottles of little yellow (tabasco type?) peppers in a shake bottle along side the catsup bottle that pretty much vanished from tables by the mid 60's around here.
I doubt that those were the peppers that the vinegar pepper was made from as those were bottled by out of state companies that also made hot sauce and you'd be very lucky to get 1/4 cup out of one of them. AFAIK, Fl has only one hot pepper cultivated around the upper part of the state around St. Augustine called Datil Peppers. I've never seen or heard of them down here. Even into the 50's, Fl was still very much an outpost, so very little exotic or limited sale items were shipped down this far, so whatever pepper was used had to be either very much in demand then to merit transporting them, or cultivated here.  
Anyone have any idea what hot peppers would have been used down here back then?
ann peeples
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/02 03:30:44
Bobs grandmother canned pickled peppers for decades. She made them in vinegar, etc.. I am sure the recipes you see are for home cooks, utilizing the juice from their home canned peppers. Plenty of juice in those jars!
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/02 03:47:50
Easy enough to make if you can get the right peppers:
The long cayenne (about four or five inches long, red or green) or the shorter (inch to inch and a half) hot peppers commonly known as serranos, or the little round birds’ eyes. Sport peppers will work also.
Trappeys still make it! 
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/08/02 04:05:02
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/02 10:32:20
I learned how to make pepper vinegar years ago in South Carolina where they put it on a lot of what they eat.
The way they did it was to fill old catsup glass shaped  bottles with fresh peppers, sprinkle in a 1/8 teaspoon of alum to keep the peppers crisp and fill with plain white vinegar.  Then wait.
They also add more vinegar to the same bottles as it's used, doing this until the peppers lose their potency.
Foodbme is correct in the type of pepper used... small and long work best.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/02 11:12:10
I just made some last week with my serranos and am in the waiting period.  Love this on greens of any type of fresh acre peas as well.
post edited by Rusty246 - 2011/08/02 15:02:12
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/02 11:57:20
The homemade used what ever pepper that was on-hand.   ... A mixture of different peppers works great.   ... I put up roasted jalapeno peppers in a gallon jar and fill smaller bottles as needed.     ... I used equal parts salted water to vinegar (1/2 & 1/2 apple cider & white)   and let age for about a year. ( not hard if you already have some being used)
post edited by edwmax - 2011/08/03 06:31:06
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/02 23:59:56
Well, last night I purchased some Serrano peppers, slit, and stuffed them into a small 8 oz mason jar with a dozen peppercorns and a teaspoon of canning salt. Poured boiling, white vinegar over them and we're going to see what materializes. I did some searching last night on the web and found a mention that in Savannah, GA , that it was common to put up Bird's Eye peppers for pepper vinegar. That would be significant as much of Fl's residents back then were settled by GA ex pats and cuisine tended to be similar to lower GA. I know next to nothing about pepper varieties as beyond Bell peppers, it's not used in local dishes.
Thanks all for the suggestions.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/03 16:53:41
We put up peppers every year. Makes a nice "happy" for the Holidays. We use the snap-top Grolsh Beer bottles. Somebody has to empty the bottles. Tough job, but I volunteer!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/03 19:09:17
I found this recipe and it may be more of the type of Pepper Vinegar referred to in the old recipe.  The pepper is strained out leaving the flavored reduced vinegar.
On one dozen pods of pepper when ripe, take out the stems, cut them in two, put them in a kettle with three pints of vinegar, and boil it away to one quart, and strain through a sieve. A little of this is excellent in gravy of every kind, and gives a flavor greatly superior to black pepper; it is also very fine when added to each of the various catsups for fish sauce.
From: Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph; 1838
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/03 19:14:57
This may take you in a totally wrong direction because the peppers used in this vinegar are nothing more than cracked black peppercorns - available all year 'round.  It's a family recipe passed down from my great-grandmother that was always on the table with any meal containing raw or cooked seafood.
2 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 Tbs. freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tbs. grated fresh horseradish
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more, if you’d like)
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
4 cups white vinegar
Crush the allspice and the peppercorns with a wooden mallet.  Place all but the vinegar in a large, heavy saucepan.  Then pour in the vinegar and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat, pour into a covered container, and let stand for at least two weeks.  Strain through a double thickness of cheesecloth and bottle in sterilized containers.  Cork tightly.  Store away from direct sunlight.  Refrigerate after opening.  Makes 2 pints.
Re:Pepper Vinegar In Old Recipes 2011/08/03 19:31:11
That sounds terrific.