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May 27, 2008 11:07 AM

Where to buy scotch bonnets?

Can anyone point me to a store in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville that sells scotch bonnet peppers? Habs are available pretty much everywhere these days, but I never see the SBs.

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  1. I occasionally see them at Russo's, but I believe they're a seasonal item.

    11 Replies
      1. re: Tatania

        Erg, according to hopstop I can expect a trip of about an hour and a half to get there, not sure that's worth it ;) They have me taking the redline into boston and then hopping the 558 bus. Ah well.

        1. re: jgg13

          Red line to Boston? Starting from where? The Waltham buses out of Central Square (70/70A) are a much better bet, although it's a long walk from the nearest stop to Russo's. It's a great market, but definitely not so good for those without a car or bike.

          1. re: Allstonian

            From central, which is why I thought that hopstop's directions were wacky (I assumed the 70 would be the right way to go), but I'm not super familiar w/ watertown so figured it was just a diff section of watertown.

            I'm pretty much limited to what the MBTA and my own two feet can get me to, so Russo's is likely off the list (although I think my gf might go out that way now and then).

            Anyone have experience with Gol! in Somerville? I know its Brazilian and not Jamaican but I could see them having varieties of chiles. I'm over by there w/ some frequency, might check that out.

            1. re: jgg13

              If you're coming from Central Square, the 70 or 70A is the way to go - you can take either one. Try using the trip planner on, and set the walking distance to 1 mile. It even gives decent directions for walking from the bus stop to Russo's. (They claim that Russo's is a 23-minute walk from the bus stop, but that seems a good bit longer than it should be, given that the distance is less than 3/4 mile.)

              1. re: Allstonian

                Ah, that doesn't sound too bad ... if its < 3/4 of a mile there's no way that'd take me 23 mins (usually manage a mile in about 15 mins or so when I'm walking). I'll have to chec it out, thanks.

              2. re: jgg13

                I have been to Gol a lot and would have gone there this past weekend, if it weren't for the Sunday parade. In any case, they do have some fresh peppers and a lot of preserved , but both Demoula's and La Internacional further down Somerville Ave have more selection. (La Internacional has had Scotch Bonnets in the past, but haven't been in recently.)

                The tip below about Columbia Street is a good thought, although I think the bodega closer to Central Square (was El Coloso, but might have changed name -- originally cuban owned I think) is a bit more caribbean oriented whereas the one at harvard was more central american. Over on Norfolk street there was a Jamaican Market (about as far from central as El Coloso, about 2 blocks before St Mary's), but don't recall their having a lot of produce. There also Tropical Dimensions (haitian) in Inman which has other caribbean items but I haven't seen a lot of peppers there, but if you are in the area check it out and also the convenience store near the 1369 which has some produce and a few unusual items (less common goya pulps, shredded coconut) in the freezer case.

                1. re: itaunas

                  Thanks ... yesterday's posts had me thinking of some of these smaller caribbean/west indian markets that are in mid-cambridge/inman areas. That's a lot more in my wheelhouse in terms of travel, I could hit most of these in an hour or two - so if they don't have anything that I want its not as frustrating :)

            2. re: jgg13

              If you have a bike, you can easily get to Russo's on the charles river bikepath as well. Rode my bike there on Sunday from Harvard Square.

          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            I saw them there recently, too. We are usually able to buy them there. I am sure you can call ahead before making the trip.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              We bought some at Russo's on Thursday night- they had a huge pile of them.

            2. Agreed on Russo's seasonally, as well as Pemberton Farms.

              You might want to consider growing them yourself. Not only are they pretty easy to care for; last year, after ours started producing, the squirrels took exactly one pepper before they stopped messing with anything in our garden that looked even remotely like them. I've seen the plants at Mahoney's in Winchester.

              3 Replies
              1. re: finlero

                I actually am growing them myself ;)

                I was just thinking of what I'd do when I went through the whole crop ... that and me being fairly impatient I wanted some sooner rather than later :)

                1. re: finlero

                  I've never seen Scotch Bonnets at Mahoney's in the 15 or so years I've been going there. Habs yes. I get them there and grow them every year. SB's --never seen them.

                  I have seen SB's at Stop and Shop and at 88.

                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Should the Allston 88 suffice or owuld I need to go to the big one?

                    Actually thinking of making a combo trip (I'm sure its not too much of a pain via bus) of Russo's (looks interesting even beyond my SB query) and the Allston 88 (because I haven't been out htere for a while) this weekend.

                  1. re: nasilemak

                    Which one(s)? The one next to where I work (cambridge st, boston) only sells habs.

                  2. I'm fairly sure I saw them at Market Basket in Reading last week.

                    1. I've never failed to see them at the 88's. Stop/Shop in Malden is a good bet, too.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: almansa

                        Ahhh super 88, forgot about that place. I think I've seen them there.

                        1. re: almansa

                          Super 88 also has one of my favorite food mis-signs: jo jo peno's.