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Buying fresh/hot peppers in Orange County?

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I'm wondering if any of you hounds know of a good farmers market, or even a market, that has a good selection of peppers. Jalapenos and Habs are fine, but I'm also interested in getting rarer or hotter varieties (scotch bonnets, nagas, even bhuts or butch T). I had a nice little garden going but they all crapped out and this chili head needs his fix.

I live in Orange, so that surrounding area would be best, but if there's anything exceptional even out as far as LA I'd probably take the trek. Thanks!

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  1. Well, I'd suggest Mexican markets, because it's not remotely close to hot pepper season right now at the farmers markets. Northgate would be my vote, or El Metate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Thanks DU! Yeah, I know its far off season, but I know some farmers grow year-round to keep the supply up in the dry season sometimes.

      I was at El Fortin a couple weeks ago and they had a large bowl of fresh chillis at the register, 3 for $2 I think. I'm not totally sure what kind they were but had a night heat and made a nice grilled popper.

    2. If you like Thai chiles, for $15.95 inclusive of shipping, you can have a large pack of the best, freshest Thai chiles shipped to your door.

      http://importfood.com/fptc0601.html

      The quality is impeccable. I put them in an old Tupperware container with a vent left open (the vent is in the Tupperware since it was made for microwaving) and some paper towels to absorb moisture, and they have stayed impeccable for weeks.

      These are better quality chiles that I have ever been able to obtain at any supermarket, including Whole Foods, probably because they are much fresher than anything except what you might find at a Farmer's Market (and frankly, I've never found anything this good at a local farmer's market).

      These chiles are quite hot. I have a high tolerance for hot foods and usually have to throw at least 3 chiles into a dish to make it hot enough for my taste, but with these babies, one will do.

      In past years, I have grown Thai and other hot chiles, but last year's crop was a disaster for some reason, so with this source, I am not even going to bother this year. Rather, I'll leave it to the professionals.

      1 Reply
      1. re: omotosando

        Fantastic! Thanks a lot omotosando. I think next pay check I will try them out as I love Thai chiles and to be honest, have actually never bought any. Have you ever tried to dry or pickle them? That, along with trying to make some nam pla prik, is going to be my next project.

        If you're into chiles, I recommend thehippyseedco.com for a great selection of seeds, sauces, and other things pepper. It is a little home-grown family and friends operation in the Down Under. Their hot sauces are absolutely amazing, 100% "organic" and without the awful chemically extract/capsician powder additives (which seriously taste/smell awful and has no resemblance to the real taste and heat of most chiles... I can't believe that stuff sells and its kind of sad because a lot of the super hot chiles they should be using have great, unique, and often surprisingly fruity flavors), that almost everyone seems to put into hot sauces these days. Neil, the owner, also recently set the new Guiness World Record last year with a Butch T Scorpion, usurping the Bhut's ranking as the hottest.

        And Dave: I'm Carrion_Fairy on the SAFII blogs and am going to be your "wo bu pa ma" comment tomorrow at Chong Qing, hopefully it gets me upgraded. Lamb with cumin here I come!