donne sali

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What is Donne Sali (by flora-file)

On Guam and the rest of the Marianas Islands tiny chilies called Donne Sali grow wild. In Chamorro donne (DOH-nee) means chili and sali means bird. The peppers are endemic, and it is believed the wild chilies were planted by birds. Birds lack the receptors present in mammals that makes them sensitive to the capsaicin in chilies, and therefore birds are able to eat chilies without feeling their spicy effects. Birds have essentially planted spicy peppers throughout the world in their poop.

The little Donne Sali peppers are tiny and resemble mini Thai chilis, but pack an even bigger Scoville punch. For this reason the cuisine in Guam and the Marianas Islands is very spicy. One of the staple condiments on every table is the spicy pepper sauce which is coincidentally also called Donne Sali. Donne is easy to make and a great way to preserve your hot chilis, so you can enjoy the heat from your garden all year.

Growing your own hot peppers can be rewarding, but unfortunately one pepper is so spicy it is more than you need in your meal, and all the peppers seem to ripen at the same time so you have a overwhelming excess of chilies all at once. Making donne will help solve both of these problems.

See Grandma Tenorio’s Donne recipe HERE.