A few of us made a post-Chowdown shopping trip to HK Market in Malden after the lunch at Fuloon on Saturday. rockdoc noted that the dried chili peppers for sale literally paled in comparison to the vibrant color of those featured in the Feast....which reminded me of how easy it is to grow and dry your own chili peppers.
A few years ago I grew a small, red Thai chili pepper that I got through Seed Savers Exchange. It was incredibly prolific - as I recall, I got 80-100 2-3" fruits per dwarf-type plant. The peppers were easy to dry, too: when they were ripe, i picked them and strung them up using a needle and thread. I hung them in my pantry to dry and then let them adorn my kitchen all winter long. (If you have a barn or warm basement, you can uproot the entire plant and hang it upside down to dry the peppers). The dried peppers retained their bright red color beautifully. One thing I would do differently, though, is move the dried peppers to a glass jar in the summer - they re-absorbed a bit moisture from the air once the weather warmed up.
Unfortunately, Seed Savers doesn't have the red Thai pepper in their commercial catalog anymore (though maybe you can get it if you jobecome a member). They do offer an orange-colored one:
The best selection of seeds for hot peppers that i've foud is in the Kitchen Garden Seeds Catalog:
And finally, I found a Korean-style chili in one of the catalogs, but it's upstairs and my son is alseep...if anyone's interested I'll retrieve & post it later.