The Find: Chile peppers
From the tiny, hotter-than-hell habanero and arbol to the rich, dark, dried ancho, the region’s best selection of chile peppers can be found at this, the El Dorado of Mexican food. Salvador Galvan set up the shop in 2008 and still works the register while his family stocks shelves that sag under the weight of dried guajillo, ancho, puya, and morita chiles. The fresh herbs and spices offer a lesson in Mexican geography: dried avocado leaf is from the Yucatán, pungent epazote leaves come from the south, and manzanilla , or chamomile root, is from the north. The shop’s name, El Campesino (“countryperson”) fits it well—the parking lot is stacked high with empty fruit boxes, while piñatas festoon the rustic interior. Born and raised in a tiny village in southern Mexico, Galvan is perfectly poised to serve Washington County’s burgeoning Latino population (80,000 and growing) while helping local lovers of Mexican fare enrich their cooking skills.
Find more in The Food Lovers’ Guide to Portland