Saturday, September 4, 2010

Some like it hot...

...except the people in our area, apparently.

Just last week I was complaining of the difficulty of finding any decent variety of peppers around here. I went to several produce markets, specialty stores and even the farmer’s markets, but came up empty-handed. All I could find were the standards: jalapenos, serranos, poblanos, and habaneros. I finally found a red Fresno chile and was happy with at least that. 

Today at the Palo Alto farmer’s market though, I hit paydirt. We passed by a stand we had never seen before. Such a lovely display of peppers. Sweet and hot, in any color, size and shape you could imagine. As we stood perusing the one-pound bag of various hot peppers, the vendor came over and let us know that the sweet peppers were in the next bin over. But we don’t want sweet peppers, we said a bit defensively. He asked us if we were sure we knew what we were getting into. We think so, we said, giving each other nervous glances. He went on to tell us that the people in this area are wimps. Nobody wants to try the hot peppers. They’re too spicy, he imitated with a whiny voice. I was starting to like this guy. One bag of hot peppers, we said triumphantly. We will not be one of those people. 

Turns out, these peppers are grown nearby in East Palo Alto on a farm called Happy Quail Farms. A tiny farm, they’ve been around since 1980. Why didn’t I know this??? 

There is now a pound of various hot peppers sitting on the counter and I have no idea what they are, how spicy they will be, or what I’m going to do with them. I’ve got some researching to do before I bite into one, that’s for sure. 

Right now, all I know is that there is definitely a spicy infused olive oil in my future. More to follow with new pepper-centric dishes.

Click here to check out my later post to see what I did with all these peppers.


  1. They do look gorgeous :) Maybe some chili infused vodka :)

  2. I have a few ideas. ;)

    Pan frying a few peppers to serve with a steak is great. Of course you can use the chopped in just about anything. Stuffed is one of my favorites. Man, I'm hungry.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  3. Matt and Magic of Spice,
    Thanks for the suggestions!