Word Of The Day: Ristra

A ristra is an arrangement of dry chilis, usually hung by string. Ristras are popular in pepper-producing areas like the Southwest.

The custom of hanging bright red chili ristras began hundreds of years ago as a method of preservation. Drying the chilis and putting them onto a ristra, Spanish for string, was the only way people could save them for consumption after the harvest. Nowadays we can rely on freezers, but ristras, often with a small lime at the end, continue to be used decoratively.

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