Food Projects

Habanadas

Part One

It started when I spilled a tablespoon of hot chili oil directly in my lap at a taqueria. I had just bitten into a tortilla chip onto which I had dumped a massive amount of chunky habanero sauce because it smelled so delicious. I put it all in my mouth and my brain overloaded from the heat.

So there I was, rubbing oil off my dress and leg (the leg would hurt for 12 hours. I have a predisposition for hot chili hand too) remarking how much I love the flavor of Habaneros, even if the heat didn’t always agree with me.

I went home and researched “habaneros without the heat” and found out that they indeed exist! There is a type called Habanadas (Habanero+nada) that have the flavour of a Habanero without the heat.

fully grown Habanadas

I bought 2 packs from Row 7, a very cool agriculture project which is a co-production between agricultural scientists and chefs.

I got the seeds and realized that unlike the green beans and tomatoes of my youth, these seeds (because they are built like brick shithouses) need to be germinated before you can grow the plants.

I spent a week fretting over Jiffy Pots and a warm, wet paper towel lined plastic bag until I got 7 seedlings. I culled the seedlings when it was clear some were failsons (one of them kept his li’l seed pod on as a hat) and I planted the winners in a window box in my kitchen.

So far, so good. I’m waiting on them to get to be 4-5 inches tall so I can transplant them to their own planters and await their busting out, and eventually bearing fruit that won’t hurt my crotch if I spill them.

Watch this space for updates

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