I am such a huge fan of fresh peppers.
Most things, I'm okay with preserved stuff. I'm perfectly happy with lemon and lime juice from a bottle. I'm fine with garlic and onion powder. And I actually prefer dried herbs to fresh leaves.
But for hot peppers, it's got to be fresh. It's a totally different sensation.
With dried pepper, even if you cook them first as you're supposed to, you always feel like something hot has been sprinkled on your food (which it has). But fresh peppers make it seem as if every piece of food in the dish just happens to be hot and spicy. It's almost a rounded taste that you can't pinpoint.
The heat seems to come from the inside of everything.
These peppers are mostly from my Mom's balcony garden. But next year, if it's possible wherever I happen to be, I'm going to grow my own.
It only takes a couple of plants to satisfy all my cooking needs. But it's well worth the small effort.