WHEN THE END OF SUMMER ARRIVES... around the Cherry Valley, not too far from Palm Springs, the temperature rises. That could be accurately said for the reading on any thermometer you come across, of course, but also what people who love a piquant dish are seeking for their suppers. For that's when the annual Chili Festival pops, with the heat, moxie, and the beauty of a pepper at top ripeness, at 123 Farm. The Highland Springs Ranch & Inn agricultural destination is known for its organically grown delights and popular foodie festivals, but there's no quibble as to which yearly celebration pushes the Scoville scale. It's the summertime heat happening, a time for chiliheads to gather, nosh, and buy fresh 'n fiery products.
CRAVING CAPSAICIN AT HOME? Longing for a spicy experience that will zip you, at least in your pepper-perfect daydreams, to the Cherry Valley festival? Look to the 123 Farm online shop, where a chili-infused honey is for sale. You bet, the chilis found within this sweet stuff are grown on the organic farm, so you can think of that with each dollop you add to your toast or muffin or even your ice cream, because chili honey on ice cream is pretty darn fantastic. It's $14, and you can find it here. But you say you prefer the milder pleasures of the palate? You're in luck, farm fans: The 123 Farm shop is a bounty of other finds, from olive oils to vinegars to teas, too. There's more to see beyond the culinary section, keep in mind, so begin exploring now.