The Chile Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

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A perfect day in New York City.

As we walked into the garden, dozens of vendors were lined up along the isles of cherry blossom trees as a 6 man mariachi band played delightfully in our ears.  As we entered the line of vendors, we began to smell the spicy variety of every chile pepper and hot sauce combination you can dream of.  Matt then realized he had just walked into spicy heaven on earth.  At every restaurant we go go he tries every variety of hot sauce they offer, and now he was surrounded by many others who, like him, have a strong appreciation for hot peppers and spicy foods.  Between all of the hot sauce tasting and his new J. Shotmeyer sherpa fleece (coming soon) he was unstoppable even with the cooler weather.  As someone who loves to cook, he was delighted to find so many spicy and unique foods that he cannot wait to use in breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for weeks to come.  Peppers of every variety, hot sauces from dozens of award-winning vendors, unique rich chocolate, spice cream, and pepper jellies delighted our taste buds as we moved from up and down the rows of vendors with people who share the same passions for food.  I love spicy food, don’t get me wrong, but I have a very low tolerance for spiciness.  However, I was more than happy to try all sorts of food of the mild variety and the chocolate was quite amazing. After visiting all of the vendors we went for a walk and entered an incredible flowering oasis.  Just a short walk away from the main event area, we got lost in the beauty of nature. Reflecting pools with floral garden frames, made for the most beautiful and picturesque afternoon stroll. Not to mention, an incredible conservatory where we explored climate-controlled greenhouses with plants from around the world.  The artist in me took an over-abundance of pictures. I mentally painted the gardens in all of their glorious color so I can physically paint them at a later time. Hot sauce for him, gardens for me, doesn't get much better than this. Mark your calendars for next year’s festival.  You will not want to miss this.  

- Jenna

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charles shotmeyer