- Author: Katie (Cathryn) R Johnson
August brings many types of ripening produce to the Central Sierra, but some of the most striking summer colors and flavors come from peppers. Peppers come in sweet varieties, which include but aren't limited to bell peppers, and spicy varieties, which are also known as chiles. Few foods offer as much variety in color, shape, and flavor as peppers do, so look out for less common types in local markets or when choosing plants for your garden. All peppers start out green, and will ultimately become sweeter and change color as they ripen. Green bell peppers or green chiles are less sweet because they are less ripe; red, orange, or yellow colors indicate that a pepper has ripened and will be sweeter. Chiles become spicier as they ripen, although spice level also varies widely between chile varieties, growing conditions, and even from plant to plant in the same garden. Any type of pepper should be firm and glossy when fresh, although many chiles are also preserved and sold dried. Peppers contain fiber and Vitamin A, and are excellent sources of Vitamin C. A single serving of peppers usually provides all the Vitamin C recommended for an entire day. See below for pepper recipe ideas to try this August, or learn more about peppers and view their nutrition facts at the USDA's Seasonal Produce Guide.