The seed starting progression is marching onward. A few weeks ago I started the pepper seeds than I am going to start this year; many of the hot pepper plants are over-wintered in a warmer climate, pruned in the spring, then grown out again over the summer. The seedlings are getting their first taste of the great outdoors and real sunshine today. Like most of the plants we grow, we are keeping some of the varieties we have grown in the past and adding a few new varieties.
The one we will not be growing is the Carmen pepper. Although it is a fantastic tasting bulls-horn shaped red bell pepper, we just never found a compelling use for them. The primary pepper that is being substituted into its space in an Aleppo pepper. This is not a pepper I have ever tried, or even seen for sale, fresh; but, I have used dried and crushed Aleppo pepper for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, try it instead of crushed red pepper and just about anywhere else that needs a flavor boost.
In other garden news, we started cleaning up the garden and getting it ready for early plantings. In fact, we transplanted some onions and planted out beets this past weekend. It has been unseasonably warm the last few weeks and that is supposed to hold for at least the next two weeks. It is hard to believe that not only am I starting seeds indoors, but actually plants things outside at the garden.
Sugar Rush PeachA new-to-us pepper. Seeds for this pepper and another were included in my Aleppo pepper order. This pepper should be a sweet, peach colored Aji pepper. Should be moderately hot and make a great hot sauce (and we all know I have a fondness for hot sauce).
|Cupid||A small red, baby bell pepper. We primarily use for a sweet pickled pepper, similar to Peppadew ™.|
|Shishito||A Japanese frying pepper, similar to the Spanish Padrón pepper. We usually harvest when they are about 2.5 to 3 inches long. Generally a sweet pepper but a small percentage have some heat.|
|Aleppo Pepper||This is a new-to-us pepper to grow, but not use. Primarily used dried and crushed, similar to crushed red pepper flakes. Will have some spice, but generally not too hot, with a sweet raisin taste with hints of salt and cumin. Curious to taste fresh.|
|Sarit Gat||Another new-to-us pepper. A long, yellow pepper that is apparently great dried or as peppers in oil. The other pepper seed included with the Aleppo pepper seed order. Moderately hot.|
|Serrano Pepper||Our go-to mild chili pepper. Less bitter and more fruity than jalapenos.|
|Habanero Pepper||Our multi-purpose hot pepper. Adds a moderate amount of heat to hot sauce, taco filling, and chili, without blowing out the heat levels. If you can tolerate the heat, very fruity and tasty.|
|Thai Hot Pepper||A small hot pepper we use primarily in fermented hot sauce and Thai recipes. Thin walled, good for drying.|
|Ghost Pepper||The hottest pepper we grow. A little really does go a long way. I think this is about 8 – 10 times hotter than a habanero. I add them to hot sauce, salsa verde, and our peach and hot pepper chutney because they are the only pepper we grow that cuts through the sweetness. Although my nephew desperately wants to watch one of use eat one of these, we have not had any takers yet.|