Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce

  (Hinckley, Illinois)
Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Today we started to sow some of our hot pepper seeds. We have a small seed room with artificial lighting on racks made for seeding flats. We also have a seeding table which keeps the soil temperature at 80 degrees F. This remains stable throughout the season for consistent germination of most vegetable plants. For varieties that require lower temperatures we adjust the table accordingly. Anyhow, we plated some hot peppers today of several varieties.

     

We grow a dozen or more variety of chiles – hot peppers – each year.  One mild chile that we are growing this year is Pasilla Bajio, also known as chile negro. Pasilla Bajio is a mild chile with a smoky flavor. It is slightly less hot than a jalapeno and is often used to enhance the flavor in mole sauces. It can also be used to make salsas. These 8 to 10 inch long cylindrical peppers are thin walled and start off dark green before ripening to dark brown.

The Pasilla pepper should not be confused with the ancho.  The Ancho is the dried version of the Poblano pepper that growers and grocers frequently mislabel as the Pasilla in the United States.  The darker Anchos are also sometimes known as chile negro - thus generating much confusion - but they are not the same as the Pasilla peppers. The Pasilla can even create an interesting twist in the flavor and appearance of the standard red-chile enchilada sauce.  It is also a favorite in combination with fruits or accompanying duck, seafood, lamb, mushrooms, garlic, fennel, honey or oregano.

Another hot pepper we seeded today is the Red Scotch Bonnet. This pepper is a cultivar of the Habanero and is among the hottest peppers anywhere. Its name derives from its resemblance to the Scottish Tam o' Shanter hat, though it appears primarily in the Caribbean and in Guyana and the Maldives. Other names for these chili peppers include Bahamian, Bahama Mama, Jamaican Hot or Martinique Pepper, as well as booney peppers, bonney peppers, Boab’s Bonnet, Scotty Bons and goat peppers.

The Scotch bonnet pepper is usually red or yellow at maturity. It typically features with jerk dishes including pork and chicken. Its apple-and-cherry-tomato flavor also pops up with other dishes in Grenadian, Trinidadian, Jamaican, Barbadian, Guyanese, Surinamese, Haitian and Caymanian cuisine.

The hottest pepper sown today was the Ghost Pepper or Bhut Jolokia Chili Peppers. These babies are officially the hottest peppers around, toping the Red Savina Habanero. It was awarded the distinction of World's Hottest of All Spices by the Guinness World Records in 2006. Use the Bhut Jolokia as you'd use a habanero, but remember that they are much hotter, up to 5 times the heat level. Use caution when cooking with them. Wear gloves and protect your eyes.

Bhut Jolokia belongs to the Capsicum Chinense family, like the Habanero, Scotch Bonnet and Red Savina. They originate in Northern India. It is also known as Naga Jolokia, Naga Morich, Ghost Pepper or Ghost Chili. Note: "Naga" mean "Cobra Snake" in Sanskrit.

Lastly, we planted some Red and Yellow Peter Peppers. This one here is becoming popular as a novelty. This very interesting little chili makes a great conversation piece in the garden or in the kitchen due to its distinctively phallic shape, hence its name. It grows to about 3-4 inches long and 1-1.5 inches wide, and matures to a bright red or yellow. Originally from Texas and Louisiana, they are grown commercially and seeds are obtained through private companies. We have heard they are great for salsas! (and a few laughs!)

 

 
 
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