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Entries in gardening (1)

Monday
Oct092017

Peppers of the Americas

Only up until several years ago, I really didn’t like the flavor of peppers.  I’ve recently heard that our taste buds change every seven years.  Perhaps I have experienced this change…this phenomenon…this life event.  Because over the past several years and just today, I have to face my cravings for the heat of a pepper woven into the fabrics of my food.  I love the punch of vinegary heat when I bite into a pepperoncini pepper, especially along-side an arugula salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and a couple slices of charcuterie.   Spicy Udon noodles….yes, please. 

In my little raised bed garden, I planted several pepper plants this year.  Nothing out of the ordinary; Lowe’s and Home Depot aren’t known for that.  But on summer evenings, I pick a cucumber or two, a nice tomato that is still warm from the sun, and a jalapeno pepper; I carry them all wrapped up in my t-shirt back into the house and chop them all up together and add a glug of red-wine vinegar and olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt.  I crave this salad!  But I want more. I want more of peppers and I want more of the heaty taste in the back of my throat and the burn of my lips.  I know I need to venture beyond what my local store offers in its garden center.

When I saw Maricel Presilla’s book of Peppers of the Americas, I was so excited.  This book explains the capsicum mystery that has been causing my cravings.  It includes a gallery of fresh and dried peppers, with flavor notes and Pictures. Of. Each. Pepper.  (What a novel idea…to have a reference picture for each pepper!!!)  Maricel also describes how to dry certain peppers which will help me keep the heat during the winter months.  And finally, the last 100 pages is a mélange of recipes, many of which I already have little yellow flags attached.  The flags are my reminders that draw me back and constant view of the recipes will draw me into my kitchen this winter with my dried peppers.

This book is an encyclopedia of peppers – a book of knowledge that everyone with a craving for peppers should have on the shelf.  I am really loving this beautiful book.