Ristras are now normally expensive decorative items bought at overpriced stores selling cheap crap. Traditionally they were used to both dry and store peppers in the southwest.
A ristra is simple a heavy thread that has been run through the end of multiple peppers and then left out to dry.
Last years peppers are hanging in a corner of my kitchen waiting for a batch of chili or fajitas to be made.
Watch the video to see how some tips on drying peppers using a Ristra.
I use this as an easy way to store my peppers each year. I find that hot peppers are about the only plant I actually do well with growing so I always have a surpluse.
What does not go into the fermenter for making pepper mash goes on a Ristra.
At first the boy liked playing with it. That was because I keep mine over in a corner that he likes to hide and play in. However, after he got a little pepper in his eyes one he stopped messing with it. The hot part of a pepper is in the membranes. So he only got a small exposure from breaking one up. However, that was enough to keep him away from my peppers in the future.