A Spanish term referring to a handstrung rope of foods, primarily chiles or heads of garlic. Though ristras are used for decoration, many people let the chiles dry and use them in cooking, pulling them off one-by-one from the bottom. Dried garlic ristras are used strictly for decoration.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.