Trick or Treat

Our Halloween pepper harvest included jalapeno, bird pepper and the very productive fish pepper in all its color permutations.

Every year around Halloween I harvest the last peppers from my summer garden.  Most of the peppers seem to step it up when the weather gets cooler so I often have a very productive last picking.

This year my fish peppers out-produced all the other hot peppers in the garden.

I first discovered fish pepper when a  student brought seed she had purchased from  Seed Savers Exchange to one of my Greenhouse Production classes.

I was intrigued because I wrongly thought that the pepper must look or taste like a fish.  I even imagined cute little sardine shaped peppers dangling from the branches.

It turns out, however, that the fish pepper was named because it was a staple of African American fish merchants in the Baltimore area.

The peppers became popular because the immature fruit is pale green with a few cream or yellow stripes. This allows the peppers to be used in white sauces without causing unsightly discoloration.  They can even be used to make a white paprika.

As the peppers age, they become deeper green with purple or brown markings.  At maturity they are firey red marked with orange.   The peppers are dimpled with thin walls and are almost always variegated.  Foliage is also variegated with creamy white.

When I do an internet search, recipes for Fish Pepper Soup invariably pop up.  I’ve never made the traditional soup but I do like the flavor of fish peppers.  They have a wonderful heat and I use them in much the same way that I use fresh cayennes.   They have about the same scoville rating and can be used in sauces, salads or salsas.  However if they are cooked the heat does diminish somewhat.

This year, the seed strain I planted had more purple coloration than normal.

I’m going to try making a traditional southern pepper sauce with a few of them.   I think it will taste great.  It should also be a treat to see the medley of purple, red, green and yellow peppers gleaming in the jars.


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4 Responses to“Trick or Treat”

  1. yardflow says:

    Peppers do freeze well, c wig. I dice and freeze the sweet ones and usually process the hot ones in vinegar or dry them.

  2. c wig says:

    Thank you we had an abundant crop of peppers also my husband keeps bringing them and leaving them on the counter. Can you freeze

  3. yardflow says:

    kc, Those fish peppers are the prettiest with their streaks of different color. I want to make my pepper sauce today and post a picture of it.

  4. kc says:

    peppers make the greatest pictures, ya’ll eat some for us cause you know we can’t eat them any more.thanks.

    ps tomorrow nov 1 is the day of the dead. maybe visit the gypsy cemetery.

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