FoodLove's newsletter for 10/27/16 View this email in your browser ( Share ( Tweet ( Pin ( Forward (

** Let's spice things up, FoodLover!

I love hot sauce! To me, adding hot sauce to a meal is akin to adding salt: both breathe life into your foods. Salt is essential for bringing out the inherent flavor in foods, making them taste even more like themselves, while hot sauce provides a contrast that lets you experience that flavor in a new way. It makes food more exciting and can keep some recipes, particularly heavy, cheesy ones, from tasting flat. (Seriously, artichoke dip full of cream cheese, jack cheese and mayo is pasty as all get out. Add a tiny splash of hot sauce and suddenly the flavors burst!) And, if you happen to overdo it, hot sauce will give you a tremendous appreciation for dairy products because they are what cools the heat!

Hot peppers, the key ingredient in hot sauce, each have their own unique flavor in addition to different levels of heat. I like to have a selection of sauces made with all kinds of peppers so the resulting sauces have a wide range of flavors and heat, providing just the right condiment for every meal. Here’s a little introduction ( to commonly produced hot sauces around the world and the peppers used to make them.

Hot sauce is one of the items I enjoy searching out when I travel because one little bottle can hold a whole story: which ethnicities are represented in the area, what produce is grown in the area, and how all of that comes together to form the local culture. Of course, it’s not something you find everywhere or you may not find a locally made hot sauce (read your labels!) but when you do find some be sure to check it out.

Back at home I eagerly look forward to late September at our farm because that’s usually when the hot peppers are at their peak and our PYO quota is unlimited! I pick any peppers (this year with the help of a friend visiting for a few days from the West coast...thanks Peg!) the farm grows but my favorites are cherry peppers for their luxurious texture and poblanos for their rich flavor. Both of these varieties are in the low to medium heat range so great in recipes for non-chili heads and a wonderful way to let people who shy from spicy foods get acquainted with the exciting flavors of chilis. I also make a few batches of truly hot sauces with peppers like habaneros and use those when I’m in the mood for some fierce flavor!

Most sauces are made with a combination of salt and vinegar as the base and then other produce, herbs or spices are added. I like to use whatever produce is locally available and I’ve found that you can add almost anything into a sauce and the result is often very surprising but always delicious.

Here are the six sauces I made this year: * Cherry peppers with mango and red wine vinegar * Green jalepenos with green apples, onion, cilantro and white vinegar * Orange jalepenos with peaches, carrots and peach vinegar * Serranos with basil, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and mirin * Red jalepenos with garlic, onion, apple cider and apple cider vinegar * Habaneros with orange bell peppers, pineapple, mint, garlic and lime juice

If you don’t have a particular flavor in mind it’s fun to let color guide you. The flavors are often great together and the result is beautiful!

I hope next time some hot sauce crosses your path you feel brave and give it a try. You may be surprised at the world of flavor that opens up for you! CSA rundown, week #20, last week of the main growing season: Butternut squash Red leaf lettuce Carrots Hakurei turnips Sweet potatoes Mixed variety potatoes Kohlrabi Spaghetti squash Green peppers Watermelon radish Newbie! These have a similar bite as the red-skinned white-fleshed radishes we all know but my goodness these guys are beautiful! And they're bigger in circumference so more versatile and easier to cut very thin for use raw in a gorgeous salad or as a quick pickle. Check out this link ( for some photos and recipes ideas. Baby mizuna and tatsoi greens Newbie! Both these mizuna and tatsoi greens have been in the rotation earlier this year but as part of a salad greens mixture. This is the first time we received them singularly. Both have distinctive flavors and can be used raw or cooked. Here's some info on how to use mizuna greens ( and how to use tatsoi ( .

Thanks, FoodLover, for reading. Head on over to our blog ( to join the conversation and please share ( with all the FoodLovers you know! Hi! I'm Tonianne, food evangelist and creator of FoodLove. That's me happy as can be, cooking for friends on a camping trip, and sharing wonderful conversation about – yup, you guessed it! – food. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the conversation, too. PHOTO CREDIT: D. SHEA

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