Apparently produce feels the same way about September in L.A. as many of us. Is it really fall, or is summer still lingering for a few weeks? It depends on whom, or what, you ask. From those in the pepper family — the Anaheims, cubanelles, pasillas, even the first shishitos — it seems that September is still firmly summer territory. According to several farmers, it's perhaps even the height of pepper season when you're coming off such a cool summer (the heirloom tomatoes and basil are not quite ready to call it a season yet, either).
At yesterday's Santa Monica farmers market, peppers in all colors, shapes and sizes still rule the produce bins. Turn the page for more on peppers, and the first fall pears.
Some, such as those 6-inch padron peppers from Windrose Farm, come bearing warnings signs (“Large ones can be hot!”). Others like the canary yellow toro de oro, pastel Hungarian and cubanelles, and the red and yellow bells peppers at Beylik Farms promise to be sweet.
Should you feel like whipping up a little home-cooked omakase this weekend, those peppery but not crazy-hot Japanese shishitos that appear in roasted form at many sushi restaurants are just hitting their stride. At 10 for a $1 at Windrose, it's hard to argue on price.
Or if you're pretending it really is already fall in Southern California, fall fruits like apples and now, the first pears, are beginning to make select appearances. We spotted these Bartletts at Tenerelli Orchards, quietly tucked in a corner among the end-of-season peaches that were getting all the attention. Patience. The Comice pears and pineapple quince are coming soon.