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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Chile Peppers
    Look for smooth skin with deep color and no bruises or soft spots. In general, the smaller the chili, the more heat it will pack. Lantern-shaped habaneros are the hottest; jalapenos (known as chipotles when dried) are the most commonly available; poblanos are richly flavored (in dried form, they're called anchos); Anaheims are generally mild and good for stuffing.

  • How to Store Chile Peppers
    Fresh chilies will keep in a paper bag in the refrigerator's vegetable compartment for up to 2 weeks. Store dried chilies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for up to 4 months.

    How to Prepare Chile Peppers
    Use caution when working with chilies; touching your eyes or sensitive skin after handling a hot pepper can cause irritation and burning (some people wear plastic gloves). Reduce the heat of a chili by discarding its seeds and membranes, where the majority of the fire comes from.

What's your favorite chile pepper recipe?

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