Friday, October 29, 2010

The Hot Pepper Super Stars of 2010

Dried Chilhaucle Negro and Santa Fe Grande

Santa Fe Grande looked similar to a jalapeno. It had about the same heat level but was very fruity and flavorful. When the peppers began growing they were pale yellow and gradually changed color to yellow-orange, orange and then red - making them ideal for color themed salsas. Santa Fe Grande is available from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Seed Savers.

This was the first summer I grew mole peppers. Chilhaucle Negro was prolific and produced an abundance of dark green fruit that turned a beautiful blue-black when dried. They weren't exciting as a fresh pepper but they made a very tasty mole. Chilhaucle Negro is available from PepperMania.

Cyklon Polish Paprika

Cyklon was the super star of my paprika trials. They're similar to a jalapeno in heat level and deliciously fruity. They were great fresh and made a hot and sweet paprika powder. Cyklon is available from Seed Savers.

Trinidad Perfume

This year I experimented with several non-capsicum annuum peppers as the annuums are such a mite magnet. Trinidad Perfume, a capsicum chinense, was so ono!  It had a very low heat level and a great flavor that's difficult to describe. Mahalo Julie for the Trinidad seeds! Seeds are available from Tomato Growers and PepperMania.

Red Harbanero

Another prolific, but very hot, capsicum chinense pepper was the Red Harbanero. The plants are so beautiful and ornamental when full of ripe red peppers but the peppers are way up there on the heat scale.

Of all the many hot peppers I've grown, Red Harbanero has been the least affected by seasonal changes in daylight. The plants have been consistently productive and the fruit remain consistent in size throughout the year. The plant in the photo has been growing for 2 years.

I make a very hot and sweet pepper sauce with the Red Harbanero peppers and fresh local pineapple or papaya. Red Harbanero seeds are widely available.

I have more hot pepper seeds to trial in 2011 - maybe I'll grow the Trinidad Scorpion - one of the hottest peppers in the world.