My mom bought several pepper plants, but one was mislabled. Instead of green peppers, thisis what she got. I’d like to know what type of pepper this is…cayenne, Thai, something else? Can anyone help? And once I know what they are…what do I do with them!
Could it be a serrano pepper?
They look very similar to ones I’ve had growing here for the past couple of months. Trouble is, I don’t know what they are, either! (They came from the cleaner’s daughter, who was given them and didn’t want anything to do with them.) Your plants look like they’re a foot or two high, the leaves are similar, and the way the colour is changing to red matches exactly. I was happy to experiment - first by biting the tip of one and chewing it, possibly a reckless move, but it turned out that they’re not fiery, just warm. Don’t blame me if yours are different, though!
Following the links above, and googling for images, the Cayenne seems likely, whereas they’re entirely the wrong shape for Thai peppers.
See, this is the problem! The pictures I found show the Serrano as having a wider body than the stem cap, but Bill Door’s link shows them skinnier; the Thai looks perfect in the picture I found but too long compared to the link above, and the cayennes aren’t shown on the plant, or they are shown dried in some links…there has to be a more specific way to identify them! If they are just warm, I would assume they are cayenne, since Thai is higher on the Scovile index…
You don’t give a scale in the picture, but if they look the size that I’m guessing they are (about 1 1/2 inches or larger) they are unlikely to be Thai peppers (which I grew up calling bird peppers) which are 3/4 inch or less, mostly less.
You’ll never figure the exact type of pepper from the picture. There are too many that look like that. Had they pointed upward they could have been a Christmas pepper and those are hot. Besides the ones mentioned I’ll add in chili pepper.
Yeah, could be cayenne, but it really is impossible to tell with peppers like that. I’m growing some Thai Dragon this year which look kinda like that, but grow upright.
Check out some places like Pepper Joe’s for comparisons, but you’re really never going to know unless you can get a DNA analysis or something.
They’re too long to be thai bird chiles, and serranos are more like mini jalapenos in shape and size.
Id bet good money they are cayennes, and a rather good batch, too. Wish mine were doing as well. Last year’s batch rocked, this year not so much.
As for what to do, dry them and grind them up in a coffee grinder(clean it very well after using), and you have cayenne pepper powder, use less than you would of the store bought kind, because that stuff sits on the shelf and loses potency. I grind them a couple at a time to use, because once you grind them, they loose heat and flavor faster than the whole pods. Or you can make hot sauce, just do so in a very well ventilated area.
There isn’t a lot else I’ve ever seen done with them.
Mine, assuming they’re also cayennes, have been a good ingredient in curries, as they’re mild enough that you can use several and chop them up whole.
This time of year, lots of people are pickling. Toss of couple of those peppers into your pickling jars for some extra zing.
Don’t peppers cross pollinate? I was told not to plant “sweet” peppers anywhere near any spicy pepper, or the “sweet” plants would probably yield spicy peppers, and the spicy ones disappointingly weak peppers. So there’s really no telling what any plant will produce if you don’t know it’s parentage *and *its neighbors.
Peppers can and do cross-pollinate, but this is what you have to remember. The fruit on this year’s plant came from the genetic material in the seed you (or the grower) planted. If you plant sweet peppers and hot peppers next to each other and they cross-pollinate, the “mystery pepper” is what you’ll get if you save and plant the seeds from the cross-pollinated plants. Sweet and hot peppers planted next to one another have no effect whatsoever on the peppers they produce that season.
If you have a “mystery pepper” this year, you’ve got a mislabeled plant.
Just to make another usage suggestion, improvised due to harvesting several every day from my greenhouse (‘my’, as if I do any of the work )…
A few peppers, bit of garlic, several baby tomatoes, a dash of wine vinegar & a splash of olive oil, salt. Blitzed in a food processor, chilled, and it proved to be a very nice accompaniment to lamb steaks & salad.
We’re getting a ridiculous number of peppers this year; I think they’re cayennes. My wife is making lots of hot pepper jelly out of them, and it’s delicious! I also made a pint jar of hot sauce, using a collage of recipes, something like this:
-Throw four or five cloves of garlic in a food processor with a half-pound of peppers (seeds and all). Process until it’s minced but not pureed.
-Layer in a pint jar, sprinkling a fingerful of kosher salt in between 1/4" deep layers of pepper mix.
-Set in a dark cabinet for a week until it begins to ferment with little bubbles coming up.
-Barely cover with white vinegar, and refrigerate for a few months (this is what I did yesterday).
-Either strain the solids out for a garlicky tobasco-like sauce, or puree everything and add a teeny bit of sugar for a Sriracha-like sauce.
I suppose I could taste one, to see how hot it is…but everything hot feels hot to me, so I think I will submit them to an independent taster…the choir director at my church fancies himself an expert.
Oh. I thought the pollen was like the sperm and it pollinated the other plant by combining genetic information near its ovary and made a baby pepper where the ovary swells.
All this sex talk is getting me hot.
This cross-pollination thing gets even more confusing, but interesting:
I’m growing a variety of peppers this year, from some old seed. Many of the seeds are from an online store, some are from a friend, but I can tell you I’m getting results all over the place, even from the store bought seeds. I carefully planted the same type of seeds in the same area, yet one of the plants will grow twice as big as its siblings and bear some weirdo fruit.
Someday I’d like to compile a complete (mostly) list of what peppers are safe to grow next to what.
If I had to guess, I’d say cayenne. I have Thai bird, cayenne, habanero, and serrano chiles growing in the backyard, and those look like dead ringers for cayenne.