Whole Story

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Pick a Peck of Peppers

PeppersSummer is prime season for all kinds of peppers. Hot, mild or sweet, you can find all the colors of the rainbow! Peppers are usually separated into those that have capsaicin - the heat component - and those that do not. Hot, Hot, Hot Fresh hot peppers are often called chiles. Red chile peppers are full of vitamin C and carotene, more so than green or yellow chiles. They contain Vitamin B6 and other B vitamins. Peppers high in capsaicin may help keep cholesterol levels healthy. Blackened JalapenoHot peppers add flavor, depth, heat and complexity to a dish, and their heat levels vary greatly. For example, Anaheim and poblano peppers are fairly mild, whereas jalapeños, serranos and Thai peppers have quite a bit more heat. Then there are the Scotch bonnets and habaneros, both of which are killer-hot! Here are a few things to remember when buying hot peppers:
  • The smaller the pepper, the greater the heat. In this case, don't start small!
  • To add some heat to your food, but not too much, remove the seeds and the inner membranes of the chile pepper before cooking. Be sure to wear gloves for this, and proceed carefully!
  • A little bit goes a long way. Start with a little bit of a hot pepper and add more as desired.
  • If you get too much chile pepper and your mouth is burning, don't drink water! The capsaicin is fat soluble, not water soluble, so drinking water can make the heat spread. Better to soothe a burning mouth with rice, bread, cheese, yogurt, milk or sour cream.
  • Chile peppers are great for cooling you down and, for this reason, are popular in hot climates. When you eat hot peppers, you sweat; when your sweat evaporates, your skin cools off.
For more information, tune in to our podcast about the different types of chile peppers and how to pickle your own peppers. Sweet & Mild Potabello and PeppersBell peppers have a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the naturally occurring compound that makes chile peppers so spicy-hot. You'll mostly find bells in their familiar deep colors of green, yellow, orange and red. Red peppers are actually green peppers that have ripened longer, giving them a sweeter flavor. Red, orange and yellow bell peppers are all sweeter than green bell peppers, which are a bit more pungent and bitter. Nutritionally, you can't go wrong with any color of bell peppers: Add them to your list of powerful antioxidants. They're full of vitamin C and vitamin A from carotenoids, so that's good news for your cells! Among a number of other winners in the bell pepper family, you'll find fiber and vitamin B6. Enjoying Peppers Need some ideas for adding peppers to your meals? Here are some of our favorite ways: Are you a pepper person? Got a favorite recipe or tip? I would love to hear.

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Rita Katanjian says …

I dont eat peppers every day, but my dad eats them every day for dinner and this would be awsome that he is eating very nutritional stuff for him. never mind the taste, or the heat, I thing you should add 1/3 cup peppers in your every day meals! For example,omletes. personally thought, I think that Whole Foods has THE BEST peppers in the world!

habanero says …

Great aroma, great taste and GREAT for you!!! Thanks for this fantastic pepper buying guide (I am partial to the habanero). Love the recipe ideas too! Those poblanos look AMAZING!

Diane says …

Do you carry carmine red peppers? Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DIANE - Our products vary between store locations and regions. I would encourage you to reach out to your local store to see what their Produce department has in stock. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.

rawtherspices says …

Hi, Very good information, its helpful to others. Thank you. <a href="http://www.rawther.co.in" /a>Red chilly exporter

Felicia says …

Does whole foods carry Scotch Bonnet peppers? I'm in Orange County, CA Thank you

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@FELICIA - Our products vary between store locations so I would encourage you to call the store directly that you plan to shop with to find out!

Sheila Adams says …

Am looking for yellow chile peppers (not banana peppers) Does whole foods carry them? In Wilmington , NC.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SHELIA - Produce availability can change daily so I would suggest calling the Wilmington store directly at 910-777-2499 before you head over to see if they have these in stock.

jemimah juma says …

hi..am a farmer looking for scott bonet pepper market..export market could you be of help?

Tom Jordan says …

Do you carry canned roasted poblano peppers. We were hoping to save ourselves the task of roasting them.