Hot weather means it’s pepper season at the Farmers’ Markets! The hot summer days are filling farmers’ stands with a beautiful array of peppers and chilies in all shapes, colors and sizes.
Bell peppers have medium thick walls of sweet flesh. You can find red, yellow, green, orange and even purple bell peppers. They are excellent for stuffing and salads.
Cubanelle peppers are sweet like a green bell pepper, do not have a bitter flavor and are great for frying and cooking. Pimento peppers have a very sweet, tangy flavor. Beylik Farms at the Wednesday and Saturday Downtown markets grow Cubanelle and Sweet Pimento peppers.
Poblano peppers, also sometimes call pasilla peppers, are large, green mild peppers. They have very thick walls, which make them great for stuffing; they are perfect for chile rellenos. They have a slight spice and a fuller flavor than Anaheims. Anaheim chiles are large, long, thin mild chiles and are also used for chile rellenos. Poblanos and Anaheims are also wonderful for roasting and grilling. Banana peppers are mild and can be orange or yellow. They are great for grilling, roasting or stuffing and are sometimes confused with hotter Hungarian yellow wax peppers.
There are several varieties of Hungarian peppers. They can be red, yellow or light green and range in size, shape and heat; some are slightly sweet and others are spicy. Scott Peacock at the Wednesday Market grows a wide range of Hungarian Peppers.
Some peppers and chilies are best used in hot sauce or salsa. Jalapenos are hot and can be red or green. They are often used for hot sauce or salsa. Serrano peppers are very spicy and look like a jalapeno, but are thinner and spicier than jalapenos. They have thin walls and are perfect in salsa or hot sauce. Yellow Fresno peppers are also spicy and great for salsa. Cayenne peppers are small, red and very hot. They are wonderful for hot sauce and are also used in Cajun and Indian cooking. Habanero chilies are smaller and orange and extremely spicy. They are one of the hottest chilies in the world. Many farmers grow peppers and chilies. In addition to Beylik Farms and Scott Peacock, check out Jaime Farms, Smith Farm and Tutti Frutti Farms.
Special Note: The Pico Farmers’ Market is having a chili roast! On Saturdays in September – 8, 15, 22 and 29 – there will be a chili roaster onsite at the Pico Farmers’ Market roasting all kinds of peppers and chilies. Be sure to pick up a bag to enjoy now and all winter long! The Pico Farmers’ Market is located at Virginia Avenue Park at Pico and Cloverfield and is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.