Guide to Summer Peppers

Peppers are in full swing at the Farmers Market right now and there are a lot of varieties to choose from. Peppers are a pretty amazing little fruit. Whether you get a hot pepper, sweet pepper, or bell pepper these little babies pack a lot of flavor. And if you choose the wrong one, your whole dish could be ruined.

So, let’s take a closer look at the differentย varieties:

[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Bell Peppers[/typography] – You might be familiar with the green bell peppers, but did you know they come in orange, red, yellow, purple, white and even rainbow? These sweet peppers (green being the least sweet) can be prepared just about any way – raw, grilled, baked, or sauteed.

[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Banana Peppers[/typography] – Generally speaking this pepper has a very mild heat and flavor making it perfect for sandwiches and pickling. However, there are hot banana pepper varieties which carry both more heat and sweet flavor.

[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Poblano[/typography] – This is a mild pepper, and the heat is found in the seeds. Many times you see this pepper prepared by frying or stuffing or added to sauces.

[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Jalapeno[/typography] – This pepper is spicier with a nice tangy burning heat. It is commonly added toย guacamoles, salsas, or sauteed and topped with cheese.


[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Serrano[/typography] – These guys pack some heat and are a smaller and longer version of the Jalapeno. They come in green, orange, yellow and brown and are typically eaten raw.


[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Scotch Bonnet[/typography] – This is one of the hottest peppers out there. Not for the faint of heart. Used in Caribbean dishes such as jerk chicken.


[typography font=”Just Another Hand” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#f0b608″]Habanero[/typography] – This is said to be 1,000 times hotter than the Jalapenoย and typically only used for creating hot sauces. This is the pepper where if the oil gets on your skin, it really burns – so be careful!

Depending on your dish, make sure to follow your recipe exactly, as it should indicate which variety of pepper to use. Depending on your farmer, they may grow several other peppers that include the wide array of heirloom peppers. They really are beautiful and delicious and when used right will elevate your dish to a whole new level.

My favorite heirloom variety is the Hot Lemon Pepper. It has a strong kick (but not as strong as a Habanero), with a subtle sweet lemon and pine woods smell. It is great for dried spices and powders.