Pepper roulette

Padrón peppers

Illustration by serene lusano

Peppers are the fruit of many colors—and heat levels. They grow well in California, so you can choose from mild to searing for any dish you like. Pale yellow banana peppers add sweetness to fruit salsas, while habaneros bring the spice. Little peppers called padrón range from green to red. They also range from mellow to blistering, but you never know which you’ll get. Up to 25 percent skew hot, depending on growing conditions. Eat them traditionally, as tapas, by toasting the peppers in oil and sprinkling them with salt. Then take a chance and bite in.