Orange Coast Magazine

Taste of O.C. | Priscilla Mayfield on food

 

During a late-summer heat wave, when tender greens like lettuces find it all too much, chiles thrive. Chiles are hot when it’s hot. Whatever your pleasure, from inky-dark, shiny pasillas to lipstick-red, completely ripe jalapeños (a personal fave), you’ll find a rainbow of choices at O.C. farmers markets right now. Habaneros, which just a couple of years ago were considered exotic, appear in profusion—whole bins full of the disarmingly cheery, school-bus-yellow chiles await, ready to spice up hundreds of gallons of salsa, or get cooked into a Caribbean-hot relish. Thai chiles have a similarly increased profile. At the Laguna Niguel Sunday farmers market, Fresno-area Beyond Bok Choy Farm had the small, super-hot Thai type in various stages of ripeness that could have been bought by the bushel—but why not start with a handful and see how it goes?

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