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Datil peppers

Datil Peppers and the 13th Annual Fall Festival in St. Augustine

It’s summer time, and SJC has turned up the heat!
***Our event has been POSTPONED until 2022 due to health concerns***

Datil peppers are an iconic, heirloom tradition in St. Johns County. In 2013, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed the Datil Pepper as the official plant of St. Johns County, and the first Saturday in October as Datil Pepper Day. In the dog days of summer, our datil peppers are producing non-stop at small farms and home gardens across the tri-county area.

While the exact origin of the datil pepper is unknown, heritage is credited to our local Minorcans. Their rich culture in the St. Augustine area, includes many datil-inspired and infused cuisines, such as with hot sauces, jellies, relishes, barbeque sauces and mustards, honey and even beer! With peppers reaching 300,000 units on the Scoville scale, the datil provides a unique flavor and some intense heat.

UF/IFAS Extension of St. Johns County will host the 13th Annual Datil Pepper Fall Festival on October 2 – 3, 2021. Please join us at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center in St. Augustine.

Visitors will have a chance to learn about local agriculture by attending educational programs; enjoy datil-inspired food during the restaurant competition; and visit vendors with a wide selection of datil pepper products. Past vendor booths have sold datil products such as sauces and jellies, plants, tea, honey and more!

The festival includes our “Datil Pepper Restaurant Cook-Off” contest on Saturday. This event provides an opportunity for local restaurants to compete for the favorite datilinspired dish of the dayVisitors can sample these dishes by making a small donation and receiving food tickets. All local chefs are invited to request a space (limited to 12 spots) for the cook-off by reaching out to Wendy Lynch, FCS/Food Systems Extension Agent ( We are looking forward to seeing you this fall!

Datil pepper

Datil pepper

When: Saturday October 2nd, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday October 3rd, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Where: St. Johns County Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32092. 

Admission and Parking:  Free – Handicap parking near main building 

Food tickets for Saturday’s Contest:  $2 donation per ticket recommended  

For more information call the UF/IFAS Extension, St. Johns County Office (904) 209-0430.

2 Comments on “Datil Peppers and the 13th Annual Fall Festival in St. Augustine

    • Unfortunately our event was postponed until 2021 due to the lack of vendor participation, and overall health concerns for such as large event. Sorry for the sad news! We’ll have the hot sauce contest next year for sure.

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