Chile Pepper Day Spicing Up Easton Farmers’ Market

Easton Farmers’ Market (EFM) has a challenge for the bravest and boldest — try to eat your way through 10 of the world’s hottest peppers in the annual Hot Pepper Eating Competition. Think you have what it takes to win this contest during Chile Pepper Day? Participants can register now for the annual contest, but they’ll have some fierce competition.

Chile Pepper Day at Easton Farmers’ Market, presented by Capital Blue, will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 18 at Scott Park. The Hot Pepper Eating Competition will start at 10:30 a.m. on the Scott Park stage. The 2019 winner, Chris Anastasides, is returning to defend his title, alongside the 2019 runner-up, Kelly Joel Myers. 

“It was a fierce battle between those two in 2019,” says market manager Megan McBride. “But in my opinion, the one to watch is Farmer Dean Buttacavoli from Cabbage Throw Farm. He came in fourth in 2019 and is determined to win this year.”

McBride says they already have eight participants registered, including one from as far as Virginia. In-person registration remains open until 10 a.m. Saturday at the market, but the contest is limited to 20 people. Participants are encouraged to register online at Online registration closes at 3 p.m. Sept. 17.

What exactly, does one have to eat in this fiery battle? 10 peppers, with some surprises along the way.

“The competition will take contestants through a slow, ever-mounting burn beginning with the friendly little cherry bomb and culminating with the world’s hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper,” McBride says.

Make your way through the whole lineup without waving your milk flag of surrender, and walk away with a trophy, $50 gift card to Easton Public Market, $50 in Easton Farmers’ Market tokens, a variety of hot sauces and srirachas, ShawneeCraft beer, swag and more. Spectators will be entertained by emcee Steven Schmid, who will offer spicy trivia and prizes for the audience.

EFM visitors can enjoy a host of other Chile Pepper Day specials, including:

  • Hot peppers galore at Phillips Farms, Cabbage Throw Farm, Scholl Orchards and Salvaterra’s Gardens
  • Hot sauces from guest vendor Fraktured Sauces (all peppers grown on the owners’ Goshenhoppen Farm, and sauces are made without thickeners or extracts)
  • Breakaway Farms will feature a Five Alarm Bacon (made with pasture-raised pork belly and 5 hot peppers including serrano, ghost, habanero and trinidad scorpion…the fifth one is a secret); Mexican Street Corn Sausage (pasture-raised pork, charred corn, cotija cheese, sour cream, cilantro, ancho peppers, lime zest in 4-5-ounce links perfect for grilling), Chorizo Verde (loose sausage that’s great for tacos, nachos or breakfast – made with pasture-raised pork and loads of green veggies, local fire-roasted serrano and poblano peppers, tomatillos, cilantro and more).
  • Jalapeno Cheddar Focaccia at Apple Ridge Farm.

Guest vendors include Hardball Cider, The Bubbly Goat and Fraktured Sauces. 

2021 EFM Season Details

Masks are required in the shopping area for those who are not fully vaccinated. Hand sanitizer will be available at all vendor locations. The market is dog-friendly, and well-behaved dogs will be welcome. Reusable shopping bags are encouraged. 

Vendors accept cash, credit, Venmo, PayPal, checks and EBT. Visit for online ordering information for participating vendors. 

Easton Farmers’ Market will continue to accept EBT as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Thanks to a USDA grant through Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley (BFBLGLV), the market will offer LV Fresh Food Bucks with EBT purchases matched by BFBLGLV, up to $10 per day. Those enrolled in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for qualified seniors, and those in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be able to use their vouchers at produce vendors who participate in their state’s programs.

Sponsors for the 2021 EFM season include: Capital Blue, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Air Products, IBEW Local 102, Nurture Nature Center, Easton Coach, Lehigh Valley Center for Sight and The Easton Home.