If I had to characterize the past week in two words, they would be: pepper problems. These peppers gave me all sorts of trouble! I’d made these quick-pickled jalapeños a couple of times already, but these locally grown peppers were way spicier than the others. Just one little nibble of raw sliced pepper made me feel like one of those silly, red-faced cartoon characters with steam shooting out of his ears.
Then, when I was rinsing the sliced peppers under running water in an attempt to cool down their spiciness, the pepper fumes made me cough-cough-cough-cough-cough. I had to use my shirt as a nose mask to get through it. So beware pepper asphyxiation. (I know I sound dramatic right now, but I’m serious.) I’m still recommending them because none of my other batches gave me such trouble.
The final result, though, is totally irresistible. Fresh, spicy, with a light sweetness thanks to the bell pepper and honey, and a nice, crisp crunch. You’ll see in the photos that I made a control batch with plain distilled white vinegar and no bell peppers, but I so prefer the gourmet version with honey that I’m going to insist that you go with that one.
Really, it was only a matter of time after pickling radishes that I turned to peppers. I’ve always loved pickled jalapeños, but lately I’ve been frustrated by store-bought varieties that are sliced too thick (they overwhelm the other flavors) and taste way too salty (again, overwhelming the other flavors). Not to mention, many pickled jalapeños contain food coloring and preservatives in addition to vinegar, which I’d just as well avoid.