I always thought spice was nice. Not saying I'm a spicy fiend, but I could fall into the category of an "appreciator." This being said, I found it alluring to attend this past weekend's 15th Annual Chile Pepper Fest, held in the Berks County town of Bowers, Pennsylvania.
Thoroughly impressed that outdoor setting of William Delong Memorial Park was able to pack as many spice enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in to one petite space, I trekked to the back woods of my hometown area to tackle the finest display with my brother and my dad, who are both equally accepting of adding a jalapeno zing to typically ordinary foodstuffs.
Immediately overwhelmed by the non-stop setup of vendors slinging jams, salsas, hot and BBQ sauces, spiced salted seasonings, and even, chocolate-coated peppers and jalapeno wine, if there ever was a place to consider become cozy with the hot-on-the-tip-of-your-tongue feeling, this was surely it!
Some of our highlights from the morning-long trot with all things courageously kickin' include the appropriately-named Carl's Kickin' Chili, which will easily bring anyone's eyes to tears, Brenda's Candies' spicy peanut brittle, Captain Thom's Bacon Ketchup (less spicy, more awesome) and the Chile Spot's Strawberry Habanero Jam. Of course, taking advantage of such a specific tasting shindig, my father and I decided to faux-tattoo-it-up, both having temps placed on our tough-guy arms.
The best part about the entire spiced mouth frenzy was the off-site trip to Meadow View farm, made available through offered horse-drawn rides, where you could indulge in more hot pepper pleasures, including their notorious hot pepper ice cream, made available in strawberry and peach blends. Perfectly creamy with a delicate afterward kick, I could enjoy cones of this zesty, milked ice for years and years to come.