Late this past spring while buying herbs from a grower, I picked up a couple of plants called “Peter Peppers”. I brought them home and planted them, really too late for planting, but they were free and I thought I had nothing to lose. I am so glad I did, these turned out to be one of my favorite peppers.
I was drawn to these because I thought the name was cute. Petter picked a peck of peppers… you know that tongue twister you learned as a kid, I thought this was how the pepper got it’s name. As the plants grew and began to produce prolifically, I noticed the unusual shape of the peppers. It was then that I realized that these were named because someone was simply observant- it had nothing to do with a nursery rhyme. As a matter of fact, if you toss a whole red pepper into a pot of chili, the red bleaches out to a fleshy pink color. If you don’t remove this before the guests arrive you could have some embarrassing explaining to do. On the other hand, if your wiring is a bit eschew, you could pull off some wicked practical jokes!
All joking aside, despite the vulgarity of the peppers shape, it is great. The heat that comes from this pepper is very warm but not painful. The flavor is wonderful. Even my kids who do not like really hot stuff ask me to put these in the beans and chili. If I am bored with regular scrambled eggs, I will remove the seeds and chop these peter peppers and banana peppers up, saute them a bit in butter then add the eggs- that is good!
Not only does this pepper taste great, it grows great. As with all peppers, it likes full sun and water once a week. The plant itself is not that large, only about 18-24 inches tall, making it good for small gardens or container gardens. The production slowed down in July & August with the really hot temps, but even then it was still producing. I harvested peppers from June until December. I have lots in the freezer to make my food tasty until summer rolls back around.
I have also dried a lot of these Peter Peppers with Fish Peppers to grind for chili powder. Drying peppers is easy, simply slice the peppers in half and place them on a cookie sheet. Set the oven to 200′ and let the peppers dry in the oven till there is no moisture left.
So as you make out your seed order, put some of these on your list, you will be glad you did. If you like to buy seedlings instead, come see us at The Farm On Holly’s Hill, we will have plenty for you starting in March!
What is your favorite pepper to grow in the garden?