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Hot Chile Peppers

Featured Recipes: Gardening Tips:
Delayed Gratification
For a greater overall pepper yield, remove any blossoms that appear on your young transplants up until the time you set them in the ground. You'll miss out on the earliest fruits, but by letting the plant put its energy into its growth rather than early fruits, you'll get more productive plants later on.
Peppers to Dry For!
Peppers are among the easiest of vegetables to dry. Just select the best fruits with the deepest color (no trace of rot), remove seeds and slice into strips. You can use any type of food drier: electric, solar or even a box with a light bulb in it - try to keep the heat no higher than 120°F. You can even dry peppers on a tray above a woodstove or a heat register. The peppers are done when they are no longer sticky and can then be stored in jars or plastic bags. It is easy to reconstitute them in water to flavor and brighten winter fare, especially rice and pasta dishes. To make a delicious homemade paprika (either hot or sweet), dry the peppers until they are crispy, then pulverize them in a blender. You'll be so amazed at the fresh, rich aroma of this home-grown spice that you may never use commercial paprika again. And you can choose the degree of heat!

Best raised as transplants sown indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to setting out after the last spring frost date,
Hot peppers love heat: afficionados theorize that the hotter the growing conditions, the hotter the pepper. The heat in peppers is related to the amount of capsaicin within the tissues and seeds. We include heat unit measurements (known as Scoville units) and arrange the peppers in ascending incendiary order! At the height of harvest, hold a roast. Place picked peppers on a hot grill, turning them until all sides are charred and blistered black. Pile them all in a paper bag so that they steam each others’ skins off. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, remove the stems and slice into long pieces, scraping away the seeds. Freeze in airtight plastic bags for use on sandwiches and in sauces, stews and casseroles through the winter.

Average seed life: 2 years

#3662 Pepperoncini Peppers: 65-75 days
AKA Golden Greek peppers, Tuscan peppers or Italian friggitello. These most palatable, user-friendly, mild Pepperoncini are pale greenish-yellow with thin walls and barely a blip on the Scoville index~just 100 to 500 heat units. Borne on sturdy 30” bushy plants, their pendant fruit is flattened and irregularly-formed with a delightful tangy crunch, the perfect pickler for antipasto, salads and pizza. Harvest before they redden and their young flesh loses its crunch. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.35

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#3595 Cajun Bell Peppers: 60 days
With 100 to 1,000 Scoville heat units, this Bell Pepper has crossed the line into Chile Pepper territory. This AAS winner is everyone’s friend. Cajun’s blocky, deep red fruit is both sweet and mildly spicy, perfect for adding zip to salads, crudités, grilled kabobs and stir-fries. It freezes beautifully, too. Its compact, prolific plants grow well in containers, producing up to 50 peppers per plant. (OP.)

Packet of 10 Seeds / $3.75

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#3605 Big Jim Hot Chile Peppers: 70-80 days
Developed in 1975 at New Mexico State University, the Big Jim Chile Pepper is the largest of the New Mexican pod types, previously called Anaheim, California or green chiles. This big boy can grow up to over a foot long but the average fruit size is a tapered, 7" to 9" and 2" wide. With a mild heat quotient at 500 to 2,500 Scoville heat units, these are the perfect chiles for classic Chile Rellenos. Roast, peel and de-seed ripe chiles. Stuff them with your favorite plain or herbed cheese (Monterey jack or cheddar cheeses work well). In a small bowl, beat two eggs with a dash of salt and a tablespoon of flour to make a light batter. Dip each stuffed pepper into the batter before frying in hot canola oil in a heavy skillet. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with a bit of additional cheese, top broil and serve with a fresh salsa ranchera. You can also add diced, cooked chicken or beef to the cheese stuffing if you wish. Big Jim is also perfect for decorative “ristras” (the large bundles of dried red chiles originally hung for good luck in the southwest US) once the fruit ripens to deep, fire-engine red. Big Jim plants grow easily and vigorously, producing 24 to 30 pods on sturdy 24" to 36" high bushes. (OP.)

Packet of 25 Seeds / $3.25

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#3614 Pasilla Bajio Hot Chile Peppers: 70-80 days
Named for its dark brown color and raisin-like scent when dried, the “Little Raisin” has productive, 3’ tall plants yielding abundant, 6” to 12” elongated pods that are just 1” wide. Maturing from medium green to dark brown, they may be used when green like regular chiles but are most often allowed to dry on the plants and used in prized Mexican mole sauces. These medium hot chiles rank from 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville heat units. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.35

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#3607 Poblano\Ancho Chile Peppers: 75-80 days
Known as Poblanos when fresh and glossy dark green, they are called Anchos after they’ve been roasted and dried until reddish-brown. Distinctive in flavor and appearance, these handsome 3-foot tall plants yield broad, slightly flattened and 5” long peppers with a deep, slightly fruity flavor. With only 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville units, this is the best chile for mild rellenos, enchilada sauce and traditional chile powder. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.15

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#3665 De Padron Hot Chile Peppers: 55-65 days
This prized Spanish heirloom is setting the culinary world of tapas on fire. Often referred to as “Spanish Roulette”, one out of five peppers may be extremely hot. De Padrón yields thin-walled, conical 1” by 3” fruits with a normal Scoville heat index of 500 although the odd one will stun you with up to 25,000 heat units! The plants grow from 18” to 24” tall, yielding an abundant profusion of that mature from green hot chile peppers that mature to red. Normally picked when green, De Padrón is so popular that there is a whole festival held in its honor each year in Padrón, Spain. For your own tapas party, fry whole green De Padrón in olive oil until white blisters appear. Drain on paper towels and season with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. Holding the stem, eat whole with a cool beer! (OP.)

Packet of 20 Seeds / $3.95

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#3612 Mulato Isleno Hot Chile Pepper:: 70-80 days
Similar to Ancho, it starts glossy green and matures to dark reddish-brown. It may be used as a green chile but is most widely used in its brownish-black dried form in traditional Mexican mole sauces. Growing from 4” to 6” long and 3” wide, it has a heart-shaped, blunt form with flattened shoulders and thick flesh. It is sweet and hot at 2,500 to 3,000 Scoville heat units. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.35

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#3675 Cherezo Cherry Peppers: 65-75 days
This hot little Italian import grows up to 2’ tall yielding an abundance of adorable, round, uniform 1½” peppers with thick walls and a fruity flavor. Maturing from green to brilliant red, these babies are hot with 2,500 to 3,500 Scoville heat units. They are popularly used fresh in salads and antipastas or pickled and stuffed. Our seed specialist’s mother was famous for her pickled Cherezo Peppers stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella. (F1.)

Packet of 20 Seeds / $3.55

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#3655 Jalisco Jalapeno Hot Chile Peppers: 58-62 days
A mainstay in Mexican and Southwest US cooking, the ever-popular Jalisco produces smooth, uniform, blunt, medium-walled, 3” by 1” jalapenos. Producing generously on 3’ tall plants, Jalisco can be used at any stage from medium green to red. But it can get hot from 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville units, so be careful! It is popular in salsas, preserves and nachos and, an interesting little fact, used as a flavoring in lemonade and vodka! The smoke-dried Jalisco, known as chipotle, imparts rich, smoky flavor to simmered meats, sauces and soups. (F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.45

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#3656 La Bomba Jalapeno Hot Chile Peppers: 56 days
A crowd-pleasing Jalapeno, La Bomba has lots of flavor and mild heat~just 5,000 Scoville units~with smooth, thick, juicy walls. Good for containers, the sturdy, upright plants are incredibly productive, even in cool northern climes. It is perfect for nacho toppings, zip to soups and sauces, pickling…and everyone’s favorite, Jalapeno poppers! (F1.)

Packet of 10 Seeds / $3.75

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#3685 Hungarian Hot Wax Hot Chile Peppers: 65-75 days
AKA the Bulgarian or the Hot Banana Hungarian Wax. Similar in form to the Sweet Banana, it is deceptively hot. It produces loads of fruit that grows up to 8” by 2” with waxy, crunchy, thick flesh. Tapering to points, these peppers mature from green to bright banana-yellow, then to red. But pick when bright yellow for pickling and frying or, if you like a medium hot kick, fresh on sandwiches. Hungarian Hot Wax has a wide range of 5,000 to 15,000 scoville heat units~a bit like Russian roulette. Are you game? (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.15

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#3670 Serrano Hot Chile Peppers: 75-90 days
Remarkable for fresh salsas, Serrano was first grown in northern Puebla and Hidalgo in Mexico. This ever-bearing chile produces loads of 2” by 1/2”, flame-shaped fruit on plants growing to 3’ tall. These hot, spicy beauties with Scoville units about 10,000 to 20,000, are #1 in Mexican markets, used from green to orange-red for salsas or fire-roasted to accompany meat and chicken. Try this unusual salsa: toast four to five Serrano (membrane and seeds removed) in a little oil and turn until fragrant. Grill six to eight roma tomatoes until skin is evenly charred. Toss in blender, with two to three fresh tomatoes, two garlic cloves and salt. Heaven with homemade tortillas. (OP.)

Packet of 25 Seeds / $3.15

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#3682 Black Hungarian Hot Chile Peppers: 70-80 days
New! A spectacular ornamental edible, this Hungarian heirloom yields scads of Jalapeno-shaped, super shiny black fruit that ripen to red amidst purple-veined green foliage on sturdy, 24” to 36” bushes. Registering 10,000 to 20,000 Scoville heat units, the 3” to 4” black or red fruit is fantastic in salsas and sauces. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.55

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#3615 Aji Limo Hot Chile Peppers: 70-80 days
Aji Limo is a tropical, bright lemon-yellow pepper that grows to only ½” by 2” with thin walls and a tapered point. A rare Peruvian heirloom, this adorable little dynamo packs a powerfully big punch~drum roll please~30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units! Its productive plants grow up to 2’ tall with a plentiful adornment of bright lemon-yellow fruits. Its strong heat is tempered with a smoother, citrus-spice flavor when cooked. Aji Limo is perfect for salsa and fish dishes. (OP.)

Packet of 20 Seeds / $3.45

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#3690 Tabasco Hot Chile Peppers: 85-90 days
Cultivated in Mexico since the early 1800s, this chile pepper was made famous in the US with the 1868 introduction of the McIlhenny Company's hot pepper sauce, Tabasco. Producing a compact plant from 2' to 4' high, Tabasco is well-suited for container gardening: its pods are just 3/8" wide by 1 1/2" long. Tabasco's fruits start yellow or green and ripen to bright red, which visually cues one in to its Scoville rating: a blistering hot 30,000 to 50,000! Tabasco's distinctive, hot-smoky flavor and its fiery heat make it one of the most recognized and famous of all peppers! Undoubtedly, Tabasco is the heat in hot sauce. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.65

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#3625 Fish Hot Chile Peppers: 70-80 days
A rare, 1870s African-American heirloom, the Fish Chile Pepper is grown on ornamental, sprawling 2’ bushes with variegated foliage and fruit. But then, surprise! The fruit matures to fiery orange-red with a burning hot Scoville ranking of 45,000-75,000 units. The Fish Pepper has often been used in its immature, white and green stage when it can be dried to retain its pale color (good for white cream or cheese sauces). Commonly held to be the “secret” ingredient by Chesapeake Bay fish houses, the Fish Chile Pepper is a special ingredient in seafood recipes as well as one gorgeous ornamental variety for the kitchen garden. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.75

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#3620 Super Cayenne II Hot Chile Peppers: 70 days
Further up this incendiary scale is Super Cayenne II. Cayenne is popular in America: commonly dried and crushed into flakes or ground into powder. This is an early, disease-resistant and productive variety yielding lots of 5” by 1/2” thin and slightly twisted fruits with rough skins. Vigorous plants grow to 3’ tall at maturity. Super Cayenne can be used from light green to orange-red and is another swell pepper for stringing and drying - but we have now entered the realm of mandatory glove-wearing (50,000 to 60,000 Scoville units)! Super Cayenne has a unique personality besides its obvious HOT flavor. It is recommended for Cajun cuisine or for adding pizzazz to pizza or pasta. (F1.)

Packet of 15 Seeds / $3.95

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#3695 Bird Hot Chile Peppers: 90-100 days
A wild, Southwestern chile pepper also called “Tepins” or “Chiltepins”, Bird Peppers have a multitude of little ¼” round pods, borne erect on tall ornamental plants. Maturing to bright red in color and heat, Bird Chile Peppers are so named because birds love to feast on them, oblivious to the 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville units! Remember, only Habaneros are hotter, so be extra careful. The dried red pods are used as a potent spice in soup and bean dishes whereas the milder, immature green pepper can be used in salsa. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.75

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#3645 Thai Dragon Hot Chile Peppers: 75-85 days
Sizzling in at 75,000 to 150,000 Scoville heat units, these pinkie-size, thin-walled, shiny red peppers give Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese foods their distinctive heat. Up to 200 pendant, 3” fruits adorn 18”- to 24”-tall prolific plants. Maturing from green to red, they may be harvested individually or you can pull out the entire pepper-encrusted plant to hang upside down to dry and use over time. Dry, freeze or pickle them and you’ll never suffer another ho-hum meal. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.55

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#3640 Orange Habanero Hot Chile Peppers: 85-100 days
You have now entered the territory of Unbelievably Hot. This chile is affectionately named Scotch Bonnet, but we will bet money that Scottish folks have probably never employed this pepper in their cuisine. Habanero does look like a little Scottish war bonnet, growing in lovely shades of light lime green ripening to deep, golden-orange. Its cute appearance belies a pepper 1000 times hotter than a jalapeno, at 100,000 to 225,000 Scoville heat units. Hot pepper afficionados - you know who you are - love to ingest these for the rush of heat followed by the thrill of remaining conscious! You must wear gloves to cut these babies. Habanero is suitable for Jamaican recipes such as jerk chicken. One pepper is sufficient to heat up a large quantity of anything. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.25

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#3630 Caribbean Red Habanero Hot Chile Peppers: 100-110 days
Fear, could thy name be Caribbean Red? Hot peppers are rumored to stimulate production of endorphin-like substances. This will get your endorphins going - Caribbean Red is the King of Hot, perhaps the hottest pepper known to humanity. Another innocent-looking little chile, similar to the Habanero or Scotch Bonnet, it is believed that both fiery types originated in South America or the Yucatan, then migrated to the Caribbean and Mexico. Caribbean Red is twice as hot as Habanero, at 350,000 to 400,000 Scoville units, enough to cause serious pain. The wrinkled fruits grow 1” by 2” and mature from lime green to red on plants growing to 30” tall. Hot pepper lovers in extremis - this one’s for you - handle with care (rubber gloves and maybe a mask). One Caribbean Red is enough to set a bathtub of salsa on fire. (OP.)

Packet of 30 Seeds / $3.85

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#3635 Super Hot Bhut Jolokia Peppers: 120 days
Dangerous (really). At 1,000,000 Scoville units, THREE times hotter than a Habanero, and unbearably intense, the Bhut Jolokia is one of the hottest Pepper in the universe. It comes from Assam, India, where its name means, Ghost Pepper; one can only imagine why. Seriously, use extreme caution when handling, much less ingesting, these brutally incendiary peppers. (HAZMAT suit?) (OP.)

Packet of 25 Seeds / $5.55

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#9150 The Safe Hot Pepper Sampler
  • Pepperoncini Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Poblano\Ancho Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Cherezo Cherry Hot Chile Peppers (about 20 seeds)
  • Jalisco Jalapeno Hot Chile Peppers (about 15 seeds)
  • Serrano Hot Chile Peppers (about 25 seeds)

    Packet of 120 Seeds / $14.95

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    #9175 The Chile-heads Scary Hot Pepper Dare
  • Tabasco Hot Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Fish Hot Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Super Cayenne II Hot Chile Peppers (about 15 seeds)
  • Bird Hot Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Tai Dragon Hot Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Orange Habanero Hot Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)
  • Caribbean Red Habanero Hot Chile Peppers (about 30 seeds)

    Packet of 195 Seeds / $19.95

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