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Where to buy a variety of fresh chili peppers

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I'm trying to follow a recipe for authentic chili con carne that calls for the following ingredients:

3 whole sweet fresh chilies like Costeño, New Mexico, or Choricero, stems and seeds removed
2 small hot chilies like Arbol or Cascabel, stems and seeds removed
2 whole Chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce, plus 2 tablespoons sauce, stems and seeds removed
3 whole rich fruity chilies like Ancho, Mulatto, Negro, or Pasilla, stems and seeds removed

We're talking fresh, not dried. My local (Silver Spring) Whole Foods has just about none of these. Anyone know a source in the Montgomery County/DC area?


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  1. There's a Megamart in Silver Spring. I haven't spent too much time in them, but I'd assume they would at least have some of those chiles.

    1. But some of those ARE dried, i.e ancho is just a dried poblano. I think pasilla is also dried, but don't quote me on that.

      Anyway, if you do end up looking for dried, try a Fresh Market if there's one around you. I've noticed they carry several varieties.

      Good luck!

      1. well the chipotle in adobo you can get almost anywhere. the others might be more difficult but I know that they sell a wide variety of different peppers at Fresh World. They have locations in Springfield, VA and District Heights so not sure which one would be more convenient for you. Probably District Heights although Im only familiar with the Springfield store and there (especially during the summer) you can find several dozen different kinds of fresh peppers at any given moment.

        1. Thanks for all your replies. Chowhound is outstanding.

          Update: here are the only fresh chilies Whole Foods and Giant Foods have:

          I went to Bestway on Piney Branch off Flower in Silver Spring and got every pepper I needed -- but all dried. I asked the cashier and the manager if there was a place in the area that sold them fresh, and they said, "No way."

          By the way, does anyone have any comments about using dried instead of fresh in a bonafide chili con carne recipe where they guy makes a point of saying DON'T USE DRIED?

          1 Reply
          1. re: spillenger

            Hmmm...while I've never done this with a pepper, I am thinking about what I've done with dried mushrooms - just reconstituted them in some warm water, and then treated them the same way I would fresh mushrooms.