Peppers are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the Summer Certified Farmers’ Market, and a variety of colorful and flavorful Peppers can be seen adorning practically every booth. Jaime Farms has one of the widest varieties of peppers, including Anaheim, Hot Hungarian, Fresno, Poblano, Serrano, Jalapena, Pepperoncini, and even Papricka Peppers. Sweet Peppers, also know as Bell Peppers are also in abundance and come in a variety of colors.
The shapes, sizes, colors and various varieties of Peppers range from sweet, and slightly hot to fiery, and outrageously hot on the Scoville scale (the measurement system used to determine exactly how hot (or not) each variety of Pepper actually is). Capsaicin is the active ingredient in Peppers that determines the relative hotness of each particular Pepper variety. A natural compound, Capsaicin is an irritant for all mammals, including humans, and produces a burning sensation in any tissue with which it comes into contact.
DID YOU KNOW: Peppers probably developed Capsaicin as a way of keeping mammals from eating their seeds. Birds, which are basically immune to the effects of Capsaicin, are the preferred consumer of Peppers and the preferred propagator of Pepper seeds because the seeds they consume pass through them unharmed and land in other places where they can germinate. Mammals, on the other hand, tend to destroy the seeds when they chew them, making them a less than ideal choice for propagation.
Price: $ 3 per pound
Also in Season: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
The Summer Certified Farmers’ Market accepts CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Market also offers Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and more than 60% of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.