I'm A Pepper

David Wronski writes:

The world seems to divide in two along certain lines. One such division is between those who like chile peppers and those who don't. Not talking mild green, red, or orange bell peppers. Talking, the speecy/spicy kind.

If you are on the right side of the issue (that would obviously be if you like hot peppers) then there is no need to be convincing you that we eat these delicacies not so much for the heat, but for the ineffable and exquisite flavor(s) to which the heat is a open sesame or pass not barrier. But, even among chile lovers, there are the macho "bring the heat" types, and those like me who do not see eating spicy foods is an opportunity to prove something.

Back in college days I was visiting at a friend's and his Romanian grand dad taught me how to eat fresh hot long green garden peppers. It was my first introduction to the fact that the heat was carried in the seeds and in the internal veins of the fruit. He would split open a pepper lengthwise, deseed then carve out the line with the vein. Absolutely mild little munchy. Otherwise, blisteringly hot.

Some time later in a proper Taqueria in Arizona I helped myself to a complementary plate full of deep fried jalapenos (You heard of the Mexican who couldn't have any babies? He had a hollow penio.) At first I tried to muscle through eating them whole, but the stinging memory in my mouth and stomach still gives me heartburn. Ouch!

The trick, just like grandpa showed. Only this time I merely deseed and scrape the inner vein away. There remains the delicious jalapeno meat with just a little heat.

Recently I came across a stash of fresh jalapenos on steroids, 3+ inches long. Washed and dried, then tossed in a skillet with a 1/2 inch or so of oil. Fry until blistered nicely, drain and salt liberally. Process on the plate as per instructed. Enjoy.

Here is a link to a wonder list of heirloom pepper seeds you may want to plant in your own garden. Give them plenty of sunshine and the heat will return in some delightful ways. The nice thing about growing your own is that you get a cache of seeds at the end of the season to continue into seasons to come.

Also, in searching around for some more suitable videos, here's something that showed up that will add some spice too . . . (Totally unrelated and maybe inappropriate, I know. Spicy cheesecake.)

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