From Our Grower – Tania’s Pepper Picks

Tania is our long-time vegetable grower and one of her favourite things to grow and eat are peppers! Peppers are such a versatile fruit; they can provide amazing flavour and spice or can be the star of a dish all on their own.

Peppers are also so much fun to grow with their vivid colours, unique shapes, and varying flavours and heat. In fact, did you know that if we have a hot, dry summer like we have in recent years your peppers can be up to 10 times hotter as when we have a cool, rainy summer?

From hot to sweet, Tania grows a wide variety of peppers, and these are her must-haves she grows in her garden year after year.

Cayenne Pepper – Red Embers

Scoville Scale – 30,000 to 50,000 SHU
This tasty, large cayenne pepper is packed with flavour. Along with a very high yield, this plant produces early making it great for our shorter growing season. The peppers can be eaten raw but are excellent to use as a shaker spice once it has been dried.

Drying Tip! If you don’t have a dehydrator, another option to dry your cayenne peppers is to put them in your oven at 150 degrees with the oven door slightly ajar, checking every 30 minutes or so and rotating them as needed. After about 1-2 hours they should be dried enough that you will be able to put through your food processor or blender.

Poblano Pepper – Trident

Scoville Scale – 250 to 1,500 SHU
These extra-large poblano peppers are great as a stuffing pepper, for making homemade green salsa, or as an addition to almost any Mexican food. With their mild heat, they’re also delicious roasted with just a bit of olive oil and sea salt.

Jalapeno Pepper – Jalafuego

Scoville Scale – 4,000-6,000 SHU
Another high-yielding plant, the Jalafuego Jalapeno Pepper is the best for adding a kick to any salsa. These dark green peppers are also delicious as a jalapeno popper or an armadillo egg. If you’ve never had an armadillo egg, check out Tania’s recipe below and give them a try!

Tania’s Armadillo Egg Recipe
1. Slice the pepper in half, remove seeds and stuff with a mixture of cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
2. Mix your usual hamburger patty mixture and form around the stuffed pepper.
3. Wrap with bacon and bake at 375 degrees or BBQ till done.

Bell Pepper – Lunch Box – Red, Yellow and Orange

Scoville Scale – 0 SHU
With their cute size, sweet flavour, crunchy walls, and amazing colour, kids (and those of us who are kids at heart) will love these little peppers as a snacker, in fact you may find they disappear right off the plant! A high-yielding plant, it produces peppers that are 2-3” long with a deliciously sweet flavour that is great raw or cooked.

Chili Pepper – Anaheim

Scoville Scale – 500 to 2,500 SHU
A relatively mild, Californian chili pepper, the Anaheim can be eaten when green or allowed to ripen to a deep red giving them a slightly sweeter taste. With their thick walls and mild flavour, these peppers are great for stuffing or roasting.

Winter Storing Tip! Once matured to red, string the peppers together using twine or thread and hang them in a dry location. After several weeks the peppers will have dried out and you’ll have delicious garden chili peppers to use in your dishes all winter long.