I ordered up some seeds to grown some Calabrian chiles this summer. Hope I'm not too late for the warm growing season!
Here are some interesting links I ran across about Calabrian chiles and making chile oil. Regarding Calabrian chiles, the center of production is Diamante http://www.fiery-foods.com/chiles-around-the-world/77-europe/1914-calabria-part-1-diamante-a-jewel-for-chile-lovers
, which is on the northwest coast of Calabria. They have a huge pepper festival every year which sounds like fun. There are several different types of Calbrian chiles. They would broadly be broken down into the "long and thin" (like cayenne), "shorter and stubbier" (the type that Craig uses in his oil), and round (which are not so hot but also very delicious). Here is a link to the page I found describing the various types: http://www.fiery-foods.com/chiles-around-the-world/77-europe/1893-calabria-part-6-searching-for-the-peperoncini
Here is a link to a recipe (in Italian) for preserving Italian chiles. The method is interesting in that it involves leaving them to dry in the sun for about 5 days before canning them in oil, vinegar, salt and dried mint. http://www.deliciousalento.com/2011/08/peperoncini-piccanti-sottolio.html
For those without Google Translate, I am also posting the translation, which is a bit spotty but the basic meaning is clear:
MY "Hot peppers sott'' oil"
- 500 gr hot peppers like "tiaulicchi" or "devils"
- 500 grams of sweet peppers type "horn" (for a superhot coserva you can omit them!)
- Garlic 4 cloves
- Dried mint to taste
- White wine vinegar to taste
- Salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Glass jars airtight
Clean up carefully with a cloth chilies, we remove the stalks and
and let's put them in the sun to dry. It'll take 4-5 days to dry, but remember to bring them back home every day and dusk, to protect them from moisture. When they are ready ( faded but not too dry, must not crumble! ) , tagliamoli one by one at the tip of scissors (I leave the seeds, which give the maximum hotness!) .
Now add the white wine vinegar until if they absorb, leaving less of a finger at the bottom, saliamoli (it will be the salt to preserve them! ) and condiamoli with dried mint and finely chopped garlic with garlic press. Let them thus, covered by a cloth, for a whole day and giriamoli from time to time. Consider the sterilized glass jars (I do it quickly in the microwave ) versiamoci chilies and ricopriamoli completely oil (you already know: oil extravergined 'oil!). Chiudiamoli tightly and let them rest in the pantry for a few weeks, at least 3-4! This winter will be the perfect seasoning on just about EVERYTHING!
They warm the body and the heart! DELICIOUS
Here is a link to a cookbook available on Amazon about Calabrian cooking: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0393065162/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Photo of Calabrian chile festival in Diamante: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/mardiam40/5016630597/