Update: At the Santa Rosa farmers market on Saturday morning, Bernier Farms not only had plenty of Padrons; they also introduced another small chile, perfect for frying and enjoying neat, that I have not seen anywhere in the US. It’s the friggitello, which is quite common in southern Italy, especially in the Campania region. It is also the chile most commonly used to make pepperoncini. This chile is about 4 inches long and sweet and mild. Bernier Farms is selling friggitellos for $4 a pound; their padrons are $10 a pound. The farm sells at the Santa Rosa farmers markets and the Healdsburg farmers markets.
I received an email from a reader named Nick, who lives in Petaluma and wants to know where to find Shishito chiles, which are harvested small, as Padrons are, and prepared in the same way, by searing them in a very hot pan and serving them neat, with just a sprinkling of coarse salt.
Triple T Farm, Beet Generation Farm, Armstrong Valley Farm, Robin Burton and Geyserville Gardens all have either Padrons, Shishitos or both.
Five years ago, these chiles were all but impossible to find in the US. I’d had them only in Spain. Now, they are hugely popular at farmers markets and in restaurants throughout the Bay Area. And although Padrons and Shishitos are not interchangeable, they are similar enough that when you are craving one and can’t find it, give the other a try.
Greenstring Farm Stand, located at the corner of Frates and Adobe Roads in Petaluma also has a great supply of Padrons for $3 a pound, the best price I’ve seen.
Do you have a reliable source for Padrons and Shishitos? If so, please tell us about it in the comments section.
For more about Padrons and Shishitos, see these recipes from the Seasonal Pantry Archives: