Santa Barbara, August, 2004:
That is what it looks like when you meet your first purple pepper.
In honor of those two, I've been sure to plant one purple pepper plant every year in the MKG. The fruits start to ripen and it reminds me of that picture, and those friends, and that summer, and it makes my heart happy.
This year I went a little crazy and planted TWO purple pepper plants- Tequila, a purple bell, and Pretty Purple Pepper, a teeny purple hot pepper. I am quite impressed with both plants. There are a plethora of pretty purple peppers dotting the small plant, and the Tequila pepper ripened quite nicely even in this strange and unusually cool summer weather (p.s. the forecast for today is 95°F... huh?).
The thing about the hot peppers, though, is I am totally scared of them. I'm a bit of a pansy when it comes to heat and these are supposed to pack a real punch. I'll have to try them out on my Californian husband- he has a higher heat tolerance than I do. But if they aren't too bad, can you just imagine how awesome guacamole would look studded with purple onion and purple pepper? Way more visually interesting than a boring old green jalapeño. They would also make pretty pickled peppers, but they are so small that one plant would barely provide enough for a quarter-pint.
As for the Tequila pepper, I think a raw preparation would be best to preserve that lovely color. In fact, I have some blue corn growing that should be ready soon. Perhaps I will save the pepper so that I can make a blue corn soup, garnished with chopped purple pepper!
Vegetables are just way more fun when they are crazy colors. Seriously- take a look at those ladies in the first picture again. They are having a ton of fun with vegetables. Awesome.