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May 12, 2010 05:28 PM

Padrón me.

Spanish Table newsletter announces opening of the season: ¼ lb bags Happy Quail pimientos de Padrón - $6.99

Spanish Table
800 Redwood Hwy 123, Mill Valley, CA

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  1. Thanks. I just saw them at Rockridge Market Hall too. They're about a dollar cheaper there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PegS

      If things develops similarly to last year Monterey Market will have them significantly lower, I hope.

    2. Peppers at $28 a pound! I love them, but that is completely irrational. Aside from culinary characteristics there is nothing special about Padrones. They grow just like any other chili. I must have given away a couple hundred dollars worth from the dozen or so plants I grew in my very small back yard last year. The problem seems to be just there's just one supplier in the entire US (although I do thank Happy Quail for helping to popularize the pepper).

      If you love these peppers (they really are tasty) and have a yard or even a deck where you can grow some potted plants, go ahead and buy a $6.99 bag, collect the seeds from a couple of the largest peppers, put them in a paper envelope and store in a dry place. Plant some next year.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Zeldog

        If you don't want to start from seed, check with Berkeley Hort. I bought a few starts from them a couple of years ago. When the plants started producing fruit we would pick a handful of peppers, turn on the outdoor burner and heat up the paella pan, fry 'em up in a little olive oil and sprinkle with maladon salt or fleur de sel. Then we'd munch on peppers and sip a glass of wine while we waited for the paella to cook.

        1. re: AntarcticWidow

          You can also buy at the plants at Roger Reynolds nursery in Menlo Park (or you could last year).

      2. They are really more of a Summer crop. Be patient and you will find them for less $$$.
        Green String and Mariquita will have them again, and thank all the Gods for MM.

        1. Padrons at Monterey Market $6 a pound. Larger than I remember last years at least this batch.

          23 Replies
          1. re: wolfe

            While early ones are usually milder than later in the season, the larger the padron the more likely they are to be incendiary.

            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              I've been growing Padron in my backyard for three years now (up to 19 plants this year!) and I respectfully disagree. I've let some get really big and they are still sweet as ever. I've have been trying to find a visible characteristic signifying hotness, but have yet to. HOWEVER, later in the season (especially in the late fall) a higher percentage become hot or flaming hot. Also, older peppers tend to be hotter (by older I mean, if you let them sit in the fridge for a week or more). I had this theory confirmed by Happy Quail dude.

              Love them Padrons!

              1. re: karoshi

                Working in a Spanish restaurant, I had my hands in oodles and oodles of Padrons. The Mexican cooks swore they could figure out which ones were HOT. They told me to go by the shinyness of the pepper.

                1. re: achefsbest

                  So, shiney means more hot or less hot?.... I've tasted a few raw ones here and there at farmer's markets, and they were hot. How does frying affect the hotness?...

                    1. re: bbulkow

                      I beg to differ, sauteed in olive oil until blistered and sprinkled with salt.

                    2. re: Dawgmommy

                      According to the guys, the shiny ones were more hot. They were always trying to play tricks on me with the padrons, and they were usually right on the money. I'm not sure how frying affected the heat because we only served them fried.

                      One cook, saw his former disliked chef in our restaurant. The chef ordered padrons, and he picked out all the hot ones to serve to him in retaliation.

                      BTW, I just bought padrons at Happy Boy at Berkeley Farmers' Market. $4 for a green basket full of 'em. We also had them last night at Contigo on a coca.

                      1. re: achefsbest

                        I saw those at the BFM and I bet they work out to over $20 a pound vs $6 at Monterey Market.

                        1. re: wolfe

                          I was at Monterey Market two days ago and couldn't find 'em. I looked by the peppers, where I found them before, and by the entrance. :(

                          1. re: wolfe

                            La Quercera at the Berkeley FM sells them for $12 a pound. I bought some today and none were hot (good, just not hot).

                            1. re: JasmineG

                              I went by Monterey Market today and asked Ricardo, who works there, on the status of the Padrons. He told me that Borba, their supplier, only brings a case or two at a time and it is sporadic. I asked him if he knew when they would be available again, and he said he didn't know.

                              1. re: achefsbest

                                Had padrons at the Slow Club last night. Small amount, moderate size, a little heavy on the oil but nicely prepared, tasty but not crazy. Wonder who their supplier is.

                                Slow Club
                                2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          2. re: achefsbest

                            Achefsbest: Thanks, think I'll get some and give it a try.

                            1. re: achefsbest

                              Yes, the shiny ones are (much) hotter. I've got a couple dozen padron plants, and the shiny (hottest) ones seem to grow in the most shade -- almost always at the base of the plant, not in the (brighter) sun. They also get hotter as they get bigger.

                              Happy to give away baskets of these guys to anyone in Napa...

                              1. re: teleme

                                Jealous that you can grow them. I have a plant, but because the summer here in Berkeley hasn't been that hot, my poor padron plant has been struggling. It only has one pepper.

                                Very interesting your observation about shade and placement of the pepper.

                                Dawgmommy: Hope you are close to Monterey Market. Ricardo wasn't sure when they would be in again, and I haven't seen them there for the past week and a half.

                                1. re: achefsbest

                                  Bad year here in SF as well. Too cold. No padrones for me this year.

                                  1. re: Zeldog

                                    I talked to Harold at Monterey Market today. (Yes, I'm very tenacious when it comes to padrons.) He told me the supplier usually comes once a week, usually Friday, with a case. It usually sells out in a couple of days. I will try to walk by tomorrow and check in and see if they are really there.

                                    Zeldog: I feel your padron pain!!

                                    1. re: achefsbest

                                      Just checked, not in yet expect 2 cases about noon at MM.

                                      1. re: wolfe

                                        You're awesome! Maybe I'll brave the crowds and see if they're around now.

                                        1. re: wolfe

                                          Just got back from Monterey Market. There's a case to your left when you come in the entrance, in front of the tomatoes, cucumbers, and flowers. It was half a case when I got there; hopefully, the other case is in back!

                                          Anyway, it was getting busy, but everyone was very civil. A woman let me go in front of her when she saw I had only one item.

                                          Thanks for the report, wolfe.

                                          1. re: achefsbest

                                            Did you get her name? She will be barred from ever shopping at Berkeley Bowl.E or W.

                                            1. re: wolfe

                                              You are funny! I know, pretty different, huh?

                                              Well, I went by MM just to check in on the padrons since I was over there at the Country Cheese store. I did not see any more padrons! I wondered if they were holding a box back, but I thought that would be silly considering MM is closed for the next two days. I guess there is only a tiny window each week to get the cheapest padrons in the E. Bay.

                                              Country Cheese
                                              415 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA

                    3. So are there any other places to get these besides Spanish Table and Monterey Market? Would prefer south bay but I guess I'll make the trek to Berkeley if necessary.

                      I get the Mariquita newsletter but they don't have them yet.

                      Spanish Table
                      1814 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: arlenemae

                          Check with Monterey Market first to confirm availability.

                          1. re: arlenemae

                            La Tierra Vegetables sells them in season (at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market and presumably elsewhere). So does Mariquita Farms if you can find a close drop off point.

                            Tierra Vegetables
                            651 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403