One of my favorite tapas is the flavorful and simple peppers found at many bars throughout Spain. They originate in Padron, a small town in Galicia and are extremely popular here in Madrid as well, especially since there are alot of Galician bars and restaurants here. The fun thing about them is that some are hot and some are not. In the language of Galicia (Gallego) this would be: “Os pimientos de padrón uns pican e outros non” A lot of people say every 5th one is spicy which sometimes is about right. They are a bit more expensive than a regular pepper as they must be picked at an early stage to avoid getting too hot. Once they are on your plate its a gamble as to which will be spicy. Its like they try to catch you off guard, you timidly try one, its not spicy so you eat the whole thing, its great! So you take another, and another, you begin talking to your friends and without thinking you eat another pepper and ZING! It got you!
They are easy to make at home if you can get them. Fortunately for those of you not in Spain there are some farmers in the US and UK who grow them and they can be bought online.
To prepare, just wash them, pat dry and fry them in a metal frying pan in a bit of olive oil (a few tablespoons). You need to fry them for a few minutes until they start getting soft. When they are done, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with some fine rock salt and enjoy!!
There are many bars and restaurants in Madrid where you can find Pimientos de Padron. If its from Galicia for sure they will have them. Also many places in and around Plaza Mayor, and near Plaza Santa ana. Some examples are Maceiras restaurant on Huertas. El Rey del Pimiento and El Madroño next to it. Both are in the Plaza Puerta Cerrada just down Calle Cuchilleros from the Plaza Mayor.
Although you dont have to go to only these places, I would say its as easy to a place that serves Pimientos de Padron as it is to find the spicy peppers. Every 5th bar or so will have them. Enjoy!