This post might not be as exciting as the title suggests, but it is about peppers. And peppers are pretty awesome, especially when you end up with a bunch of different and delicious varieties to spice up your meals. Though our peppers seem to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to propagate, once they get going in the late summer, there’s no stopping them!
This year we planted a regular compliment of some of our sweet and mild favorites: banana peppers (can’t remember the variety but we’ve been keeping the seeds for a couple years), Sweet Chocolate peppers, and Lipstick peppers. All these peppers are mild and sweet. We’ve been getting banana peppers for about a month now. The Chocolate peppers have been ripening to deep brown, and the Lipstick peppers are just now showing signs of red. We also have a Relleno pepper plant from which we’ve gotten a few peppers but not many. And it’s possible that another Relleno plant got mixed in with some of the other peppers plants, but we’re not sure.
In addition to these staples, we branched out to hot peppers and “frying” peppers — basically thin-skinned, Italian peppers that are supposed to easy to cook. On the hot side, we chose a Cayenne Pepper blend. As for the a frying peppers, we opted for a long and beautifully crinkly variety called Jimmy Nardello.
We tried a couple of the Jimmy Nardello peppers when they were green, and they were extremely mild and crisp. Once they turn red however — boy oh boy, now that’s a sweet pepper! We’ve mostly been using them to brighten up stir-fries, but we’d like to try frying some up for sandwiches. (Yum!)
As for the cayenne peppers, the blend came with a couple different types.
In the image above, on the left are longer, yellow peppers, of a mystery variety. And then on the right are the smaller red peppers that one might traditionally think of as cayenne peppers. We presume that either can be picked green, but we’ve been waiting to let them fully ripen simply because they are so pretty. Some of the red cayenne have even ripened to a brownish-purple.
And then in the mix are peppers that look like this:
A little research revealed that these may be Black Prince chili peppers and that we should wait until they turn red to harvest. Right now they are very tall plants with deep black fruits — very nice looking if nothing else. We’ll see how they do.
Not being the biggest fans of hot peppers, we’ve only tried the yellow cayenne peppers, and they are hot, no two ways about it. We’ve not yet found the courage to try the little red cayennes raw, but we’d like to dry them and then make ground cayenne pepper, which we don’t mind sprinkling on our meals here and there. We’re also planning on making a pepper sauce once we get a decent harvest.
So as the tomatoes, squash, and a few other plants start to wilt away as the summer gardening season slowly comes to a close, the peppers (along with beans, cucumbers, okra, and lettuces) are still going strong. And we’re glad to have them!