Good Taste Farm 2018 Chili Pepper Harvest

We are now harvesting our 2018 mini crop of "hot" and "not so hot" chile peppers, hot peppers, chili peppers (whatever you like to call them) here at Good Taste Farm in San Diego County, California.

Last year, we pushed the limits with some obscure peppers -- we wish you all would get on the ají cristal and cascabella bandwagon, but, baby steps. Maybe we went a little too far with the heat with Caribbean Red Habanero, so this year we dialed back the fire and decided to go with some of our old standby peppers and more familiar varieties for our farmers market and mail order customers.

We will have these at our farmers market stand in San Diego, CA beginning September 2, 2018 and available to ship through our store for at least 10 days starting September 3, 2018.

Meet the Peppers

From "not hot" to "hot," here they are:

1. Sweet Banana Pepper
These beauties are in the "not hot" category. We pick our banana peppers at the stunning yellow-green color (they can also ripen to orange-red) and used anywhere you might use a bell pepper, so they work great chopped up in salads, pasta, jambalaya or on pizza.

They have a mild, but distinct pepper flavor and their color looks great in sauerkraut or slaws. We adore them cut into rings and pickled. In fact, we think these make pickles to rival the classic cucumber pickle and are tasty on sandwiches or in an antipasto salad. These are great if you cannot tolerate heat, but still want to enjoy a fine tasting pepper.

Pickled Banana Peppers -
Potato and Olive Stuffed Banana Peppers -

2. Anaheim Pepper
Named for the California city (and the home of the Happiest Place on Earth--we're fans!), the Anaheim pepper is a mild cousin to the famous Hatch chile of New Mexico. Where the Banana Pepper has virtually no heat, the Anaheim is the classic entry level to the world of chile peppers.

Best roasted on the grill and added to your favorite burgers, these have a "grassier" taste than Banana peppers. We typically pick these at the green stage, but occasionally will let these ripen to red where they are slightly sweeter and a little bit hotter tasting.

How to roast Chiles -
Sweet Corn with Anaheim Peppers -


3. Jalapeño Peppers
No matter what obscure chilis we have grown in the past, inevitably someone asks for a jalapeño because it is THE standard of hot pepper and easy to make a heat comparison (for our little farming world at least). Is it hotter than a jalapeño? Yes or no?

This is the quintessential pepper for guacamole, ceviche, or pico de gallo. We take pride in growing Jalapeños to their peak flavor, harvesting both at the green unripe stage or the harder to find red-ripe stage. They have a thick wall and can stand up to the grill. Ours tend to be on the smaller side and maybe a little hotter this year than you are used to, so maybe skip if you are used to making jalapeño poppers the size of your hand. It can be hard to find red jalapeños, so we try and focus on waiting out the peppers to ripen and grabbing as many of red peppers as we can this time of year. Those in the know look for the iconic cracking in the fruit. Perfect for Sriracha.

Unfancy Pickled Jalapeño Peppers -
Sriracha from Scratch -
Pico de Gallo -


4. Fresno Peppers
Another pepper named after a region in California, they tend to be ephemeral and fleeting in both farmers markets and supermarkets and finding ripe red Fresno peppers that don't look like they've been sitting weeks in a warehouse can be difficult, so that's where we come in!

Unlike jalapeños which are familiar to us in the green and red stages, we always pick Fresnos red. Fresno peppers can be slightly hotter than jalapeños, especially when ripe, and have a much thinner wall than the fleshy jalapeño. They have a more complex flavor and a sweetness to offset the increased heat. If a Habanero is just too much heat for you, Fresno are a good substitute. Fresno peppers seem to be experiencing something of a renaissance these days, but gardeners have never doubted the captivating beauty and flavor of these gorgeous peppers. Our Good Taste Farm Fresno peppers shine in your homemade hot sauces or even thinly sliced on a pizza or veggies. 

Fresno Chili Hot Sauce -
Grilled Cauliflower with Fresno Chili -


5. Serrano Peppers
Pushing the upper boundaries of the "medium heat" into the "hot" category is the serrano. The serrano is named after the mountains of central Mexico and is a standard for salsa and guacamole. We tend to pick these green because they take a long time to grow, but occasional have red ones for sale which are great for adding some kick to pickled banana peppers or cucumbers.

Serrano Chile in Lemon and Oil -
Blackberry-Serrano Vinaigrette -
Tomatillo Serrano Salsa Verde -
Roasted Corn with Serrano Mint Sauce -

6. Habanero Peppers
First off, unlike "jalapeño" there is no tilde over the "n" in Habanero, so go ahead and pronounce it like it looks. This pepper is a different species, "Capsicum chinese," so it has a different shape and the plant looks totally different than the previous peppers we've featured. This species is popular in the Caribbean, so you might notice a similarity with some of the hottest peppers around.

We have chosen the orange habanero this year because it is an entry-level hotness of the "really hot" pepper group. Pretty sure some taste buds got overwhelmed by the Caribbean Red Habaneros we have grown the past few years. Oops.

The habanero has a characteristic fruity flavor which can be dialed back while cooking by not cutting the pepper and using it only as a flavoring and removing before serving. Having said that, if you want a hot pepper, this is the one and it makes an excellent roasted salsa and some of my absolute favorite hot sauces and salsas are made with habaneros (I'm looking at you Mellow Habanero  and Kitchen Garden Farm and El Nopalito). You will often see habanero combined with mango because the sweetness offsets the heat. A beautiful pepper, we always pick them ripe orange, but can pick unripe green by request. Our habaneros tend to be smaller and hotter than what you may be used too. Fair warning!

Caribbean Pepper Sauce -
Caribbean Curry Black Eyed Peas -

Thanks for checking out our peppers. we are looking forward to sharing them with you this season!


Good Taste Farm