Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Food Adventures: Growing Hot Peppers....

Trinidad Scorpion Pepper.....apparently this one is around 1.5 million on the Scoville scale - (it's like the Richter scale, but for peppers) ....
Earlier this year, on a chilly winters day (January 2012), in the Great White North (…Toronto), I set a stack of pepper seeds into little pots with soil, added some water, covered them with plastic, and gave them my blessing to germinate - and fulfill their destiny of becoming hot hot hot peppers. (…..it was less of a ‘blessing’, and more of me just saying ‘grow dammit!’).

8 months on….many moons spent transplanting and fertilizing (and fertilizing….and fertilizing), combined with the very humid summer we’ve had here in Southern Ontario, I am proud to say that I have me some peppers!

During the germination process, I found that it was hard to tell the difference between the peppers once the seedlings started to sprout – so I spent some time labeling my pepper plant pots.  Somehow in all of my organization, it didn’t occur to me to use waterproof labels (whoops) so the few downpours that we have had this summer have pretty much washed out my labeling system – and now it’s a bit of a guessing game until the peppers have ripened up.  I know for sure that I have somewhere between 6-8 different varieties of peppers…..Instead of looking at this as a mistake, I choose to look at this as a ‘fun surprise’ in a few weeks time. 

I thought I’d share some pictures of the peppers as they are developing…
(just as a point of reference, the peppers used to make Tabasco sauce rate between 30,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville scale)....
Bhut Jolokia.....Between 800,000 and 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale....
Roatan Pumpkin Habanero...
Orange Habanero....My Dad tried this one...he said it was hot...
It is between 200,000 - 300,000 on the Scoville scale...

Black Naga....My Dad tried this one also.....he said it was really hot (his mouth was burning for about 15 minutes)....
It's between 700,000 and 800,000 on the Scoville scale. 
Guyanese Wiri Wiri Pepper.....

I'm not too sure which one this is....I'll have to wait for it to ripen up....

Red Mushroom Pepper....this one milder  - 30,000 - 50,000 on the Scoville Scale - but has a GREAT taste. 
All the flavour of a hot pepper with a lot less of the 'burn'. 
By now, you can probably guess that my (poor) Dad has the distinct (tongue-burning) pleasure (hahaha!) of being my pepper taster….
I’ll let you know what he thinks of the rest once they get ripe.  (Thanks Daddy!) 

Happy Cooking!


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  2. This is so interesting. I've always had a veggie garden in the Spring but I've struggled with peppers. Thank you for sharing.

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