I've always thought all jalapenos were created equal. That it was a pepper to slightly fear. And then I would have a jalapeno mild as a bell pepper. The next time I'd pile them on and damn if I wouldn't have volcano mouth. It was confusing.

I'd think back to where I bought the peppers. It must be the grower, I'd conclude. They were either doing something right or wrong. But the theory didn't hold. It must be the season, was my next idea. Then, where the pepper was grown, if they buried milagros beneath the plants, planted them under a new moon, picked them young, mature, at noon under a devil red sun.

Finally, in a weak moment and unwilling to gamble with what will be our winters storage of frozen peppers, ala Yankee Food, I asked a grower.

"There are different varieties of jalapenos," he said. How logical. He named several. All I remember is he had dimples when he smiled. "These are hot," he confirmed weighing the bag I'd handed him.

He was right. I've had fire-mouth all week.

From now on, he's my pepper man, but if I do find myself buying jalapenos somewhere else, I'll be sure to ask. I don't want to risk a single meal with peppers to having them be mild.


J said...

I love hot jalapenos, and yes, there are varieties that are spicier and milder. Peppers are a fascinating food and plant - I love 'em. And I love when there are purveyors at the market that know all about their peppers. Nice to meet a fellow spice fanatic!

Green Bean said...

Hm, I never realized that. Good to know. I LOVE peppers! They grow really well around here, too. :) Bonus as compared to my tomatoes that are doing nothing.

Dea Anne said...

I love peppers and they grow wonderfully here in Georgia. I actually didn't know that there were varieties of jalepenos although that makes perfect sense. Thnaks for the information.

Kale for Sale said...

jennifer - Fanatic? Pepper fanatic? Ummm. Firemouth fanatic is the most accurate. The only thing I've missed the whole year of eating locally was the time without peppers. What's your favorite kind?

green bean - You too? Give me five!

dea anne - I've yet to talk to anyone that knew there were varieites of jalapenos. Well, except the farmer. And farmers know everything.

kim - It will be mutual. I froze the first batch of jalapenos last night and I keep looking in the freezer worrying that I won't have enough room for the wheelbarrow full I'm sure we need.

J said...

Hahaha, you and I would get along just fine in the spice department. Favorite pepper? I have to choose?!?!?! Well, for the versatility, I love me some ripe, red serranos, but PERSONALLY, habaneros or red savinas (a hotter cultivar of habaneros) are probably my favorite. I don't do those too often as Brett doesn't like things quite that hot, but yum, the flavor is fantastic and the burn is even better. Just tried Peruvian Yellow peppers (also called aji amarillo) this weekend and they are really, really good too, quite spicy, with a flavor that reminds me of a habanero but with a milder burn that Brett even enjoys. You can bet I saved some seeds out of those bad boys to attempt in my own garden next year. It's a little sad, our whole porch is dedicated to nothing but peppers, pretty much all hot, and a few even made their way into our community garden, AND we are planning on doubling our growing capacity next year. My mouth is watering already.... ;-)