The distinctive spice ' Aleppo pepper' seems to be staging a comeback in north America, Sasha Chapman discovers in the Canadian Globe and Mail:
"There are no new ingredients - at least not natural ones. And yet it seems I am constantly discovering, or rediscovering, new flavours in the city. Take Aleppo pepper, a cayenne substitute that hails from the northern Syrian city of the same name. The moderately hot peppers are dried in the sun before they are crushed into a coarse rust-hued powder that sharpens the taste of everything from tabbouleh to baba ghanouj. Its flavour is far more complex than cayenne: at once fruity, sweet and slightly sour.
"Older Middle Eastern cookbooks, such as Claudia Roden's excellent Book of Middle Eastern Food, rarely mention the ingredient (also known as Halab pepper), even though Ms. Roden calls Aleppo the pearl of Sephardic Jewish cuisine. But I've been noticing the ingredient popping up on New York menus and in cookbooks like the newly published Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews by Poopa Dweck.