Lemon Drop: Seasoning pepper from Peru ripens to a clear lemon yellow, sometimes with a dark purple blush. The flavor is a very clean, uncomplicated, slightly citrus-y heat. 2-foot plants are covered with the thin-walled, conical fruits which reach 2-3 inches in length, with very few seeds. Also known as Aji Limon. I’ve been told by a friend that this is the pepper of choice for making fresh ceviche.
Anaheim: This mild green chile is similar to the Poblano chile and is used in a lot of the same recipes including chile relleno but are more slender than Poblanos, with a lighter green color. They are also said to have a fruitier flavor. Anaheim peppers are named for the city in Southern California where they were first grown commercially by a farmer named Ortega, who founded the company that still sells canned green chiles under his name. However popular they are now, they originated in New Mexico and they were initially called “New Mexico Chiles”.
Poblano: The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called ancho or ancho chile. Stuffed fresh and roasted it is popular in chile relleno. This dark green chile grows 3 inches and although the flavor is relatively mild for a pepper, like many as it sits longer on the plant and changes color, it can get hotter. I use it as the main pepper in my salsa verde and chile verde with pork. It has a nice settle heat with smoky nuances. I use this when making my salsa and chile verdes because I love that settle smoky push through the sauce.
Shishito: I first heard of this pepper from Tom Fundaro of Villa Creek who requested it. I have since started growing it and this year will be my second year growing them. The pepper is small and finger-long, slender, and thin-walled, emerald green and wrinkled looking pepper. Although it turns from green to red upon ripening, it is usually harvested while green. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper looks like the head of a lion. About one out of every ten peppers is spicy however stress may predispose the peppers to turn spicy. I think that the heat here in Paso makes for a higher ratio because it is so hot and dry. As with Padrons, the key is to pick them when they are two inches and young.
For cooking, a hole is poked in the pepper beforehand to keep expanding hot air from bursting the pepper. It may be skewered then broiled (grilled), or pan-fried in oil. It is thin-skinned and will blister and char easily compared with thicker skinned varieties. I like mine with a little sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Padron: This small green pepper comes originally from the municipality of Padrón in the province of A Coruña, Galicia, northwestern Spain. These are small peppers (about 5 cm long), with a color ranging from bright green to yellowish green. Their peculiarity lies on the fact that, while their taste is usually mild, a minority (10-25%) are particularly hot. Whether a given pepper ends up being hot or mild depends on the amount of water and sunlight it receives during its growth. Many are now grown in greenhouse where both heat and water can be regulated more to provide for a more mild pepper which is better for tapas. Last year we got a lot of hot ones even though we picked small. I am going to try to plant these more in shade this year under neath other large plants like tomatoes. I will also shade them in hoop houses to keep some of the direct sun off of them until the folliage can hide the fruit more.
Tam’s Jalapeno: I bought the seed of this plant this year because I noticed many people wanted a more mild jalapeno and these are ideal for stuffing and grilling. Plant produces good yields of 3″ long by 1″ wide hot peppers. Peppers are mildly hot and turn from green to red when mature. Plant has green stems, green leaves, and white flowers. Perfect for salsa and pickling. A variety from the USA.
Goat Horn: A cayenne-type pepper that is popular in China and southeast Asia. Goat Horn bears 4-6″, tapered fruits with a very hot flavor. The spicy fruits have a variety of uses, most popularly cooked into various dishes. 2-3ft tall plants bear well and over a long season. The pepper is rich is goodness, one medium-sized pepper will provide almost the entire daily adult of vitamin C requirement and also contains vitamins such a B1, B2 and D, plus numerous minerals. Many use it as a base for hot spice in many dishes either cooked whole in a soup or sauce or dried and ground up.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpian: This pepper is native to the district of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago. On February 13, 2012, New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute identified the Trinidad moruga scorpion as the hottest chili in the world, with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units (SHUs) and individual plants with a heat of more than 2 million SHUs. The previous record holder was the bhut jolokia of India. This is a great pepper for making hot sauce. I will only have a few plants this year but I intend on saving the seeds.
Capperino: Yes it’s a hybrid and replaces the Peppino. Fruits have a moderate heat level and avg. 1 1/2″ in diameter – just perfect for stuffing. Most fruits are round with a few that will be slightly flattened. Excellent for pickling and processing. Smaller, more uniform than the Peppino. It has thick walls and lots of seeds. When I see this pepper all I can think is eatting a peppedew with goat cheese. There is a great pickling guide I’m going to follow this summer to picke these so I will share my source with you. https://austinurbangardens.wordpress.com/tag/capperino-peppers/
Topepo Rosso: This is like the Capperino but larger and more sweet. The pepper Topepo Rosso is also called “Christmas pepper”. Round pimento-type red pepper with fruit being 2″ high, 2″. It is ripe when blood red. Short, compact plants produce huge yields and are an all around good sweet pepper. You can eat fresh, roasted or pickled. A wonderful specialty variety that has many uses. The flesh is very thick and crisp. This is the type of pepper you see pickled in large jars in Italian delis. Pickle some red ones and a few still green for a nice color combination. You can also add some Baccia di Satana or another hot pepper when pickling to give it a little heat. I am not growing the Baccia di Satana this year.
Red Knight Bell Pepper: This produces big, heavy blocky peppers that mature to red early in the season. It has thick walls and turns red quickly. It’s fruity and sweet making it a great choice on salads, in stir fry, or on pizza. This bell pepper has protection against three races of bacterial leaf spot and two pepper viruses, and features a more compact plant habit than similar varieties. Widely adapted. In the past I’ve grown the Big Bertha. While I don’t think it will be as big, I think it will get red earlier making it a good market seller.
Orange Sunshine Bell Pepper: This is another sweet 4 to 5″ fruits that ripen to a vibrant orange. Ideal for grilling, sautéing and stuffing. I ended up selling many of the plants I grew from seed so I only have one or two left but look forward to the fruit I will get from those plants.
Lunchbox Pepper Mix: These beautiful, mini-sized peppers are remarkably sweet and flavorful. They grow between 2-3inches long and are narrow in width. They are delicious sautéed, as an addition to salads and, of course, perfect for a healthy snack. All three varieties (red, orange & yellow) have tall strong plants that yield well for snack-type peppers. My hope to to mix the three colors and sell in pints.
Bianca Bell Pepper: Medium-large, 4-lobed, and blocky. Fruits have a mild flavor and ripen to scarlet red. Sturdy plants yield well; good leaf cover protects the fruit from sun scald. I got these this year because white sounded fun and I thought it would be fun to make a white tomato and bell pepper soup and this will be perfect for that. I am again worried that the leaf cover will need to build up quickly as these babies will probably scald easily.