Peppers to Pop at Highlands Springs Chili Festival - NBC Southern California

Peppers to Pop at Highlands Springs Chili Festival

Spend the final two weekends of August devouring cuisines that are quite caliente, in Riverside County.

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    Devoted to all manner of Scoville scale-testing eats? Head for Highland Springs Ranch & Inn, in Riverside County, for a celebration of spicy foods from around the world.

    What to Know

    • 123 Farm at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn in Beaumont

    • Aug. 23-25 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1

    • $5

    Somewhere nestled between the lavender-lovely days of June and the pumpkin-orange afternoons of October comes August. And what August is all about, at least for seekers of Scoville scale-based thrills, is this: chili.

    Or chile, if you prefer, but however you spell it, it means one thing: Heat, and lots of it, ladled on top of your chimi, all over your 'chaladas, or just eaten straight, with a spoon, if you're up for it.

    These are peppers we're talking about, and not the chili that is ladled into bowls, though, yes, chili peppers can and do grace bowls of soup-style chili. (The pair-up makes for a delightful if sometimes diabolical duo.)

    123 Farm at Highland Springs Ranch and Inn is ready to celebrate this spicy superstar at its annual Chili Pepper Festival, which includes two weekends of special events, fiery dishes, cooking classes, and a fire cider workshop.

    We didn't know, before now, that we needed fire cider in our world, but everything just changed.

    There's an opportunity to pickle peppers, and to stroll through a "pepper gallery," where you are free to handle and sniff at will (in case you don't know your peppers well enough, and, really, that's probably all of us).

    And a Chili Market is all about the sizzling products for your own kitchen. Think chili honey, think ketchups with kick, think how your cupboards could be even more caliente with a few laser-focused finds.

    A ticket is five bucks, but of course you'll show with funds for this fiery favorite, whether you choose to nosh there or purchase goodies to enjoy when you're back home.

    Where to head for this hot-hot action? Beaumont, north of the 10, on your way to the desert cities.

    Chili season doesn't last forever — we'll be knee-deep in pumpkins soon — so make a date for this flavor-intense festival, which heats up 123 Farm on Aug. 23-25 and again on Aug. 30, 31st, and Sept. 1.

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