Monday, September 20, 2010

My husband loves chili pepper, but I just can't take the heat. Any ideas for some middle ground?

It’s chili season, the long awaited pepper pods are like confetti on on the farm stand. But with this decoration comes a niche market of sadomasochistic consumers who will tolerate any amount of pain to experience the pleasure of the right pepper. The chocolate habanero . . . the golden ghost, the pequin, the siam hot and the scarlet lantern. Just a few of the the tools of torture used behind cosed doors as a delicious delivery device.

Fortunately for the general public, there are some lesser known and less painful chilies out there. Usually refered to as seasoning peppers, they’re just as delicious, but without the agony. They can be hard to come by, but if you pay attention and do a little asking around, chances are you could get your hand on some. They’ll be hiding out next to piles of their excruciating cousins. One of these peppers will change how you think about chilis.

It’s like an olfactory illusion, you bite into one of these chilies and all of that incredible perfume and flavor explode into your senses, and your brain tells your body to brace itself for the searing pain that usually comes along with such amazing zing, but . . . . nothing. Just great taste. It’s like lightning without thunder.
For anyone out there who loves flavor but can’t stand the heat you should go out of your way to scout out some of these special varieties of not-so-hot chili peppers.
Think of them as gateway pepper, designed by mother nature to let the people who completely avoid spice to know what all of the hubbub is about. They’ll open your mind to the flavor profile

If you’re in or around New York City you can try to hit up Eckerton Hill Farm’s stand on Wednesdays and Saturdays for these tasty treats. They’ll flip-flop your world.

The Grenada Seasoning Pepper

Trinidad Seasoning Pepper

Aji Dulce
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