What is Donne (by flora-file)

On Guam and the rest of the Marianas Islands tiny chilies called Donne Sali grow wild. In the Chamorro language 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 air born poop raids.

The little Donne Sali peppers are tiny and resemble mini Thai chilies, 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 called just Donne. Donne is easy to make and a great way to preserve your hot chilies, so you can enjoy the heat from your garden all year.

I’ve been growing my own hot peppers for years and it 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.

Posted on August 13, 2013

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