Another couple weeks and I can start germinating tomatoes and chili peppers inside the house. We live in the northeastern part of the US, roughly USDA Zone 6, so we have around 6 months or less of warm weather to grow our vegetables. If we don’t start the seedlings in the house around the end of March there will not be enough time for them to bare fruit and ripen. Starting to germinate them earlier than this, the seedlings will be too lanky when it’s time to put them in the ground around May.
Growing up eating spicy food, chili pepper is a staple in our kitchen. The love of spicy food extends to the love for a variety of peppers. I experiment with one or two new peppers every season. If I like them, I keep the seeds to grow the next season. If I don’t like them, it’s ‘one and done.’ As of now I’ve grown at least 13 different types of pepper. They range from extremely spicy like Bhut Jolokia to sweet pepper like baby bell pepper.
One of the peppers I fell in love with is Fish pepper. I grew it for the first time two years ago. I first learned about the Fish pepper in a free local magazine, either Edible Manhattan or Edible Queens, not sure exactly which one. I picked the magazine up at the farmer’s market, read the article about Fish Pepper which prompted my search for the seeds. I was lucky to find organic seedlings at one of the farmer’s stands. I was warned not to grow them next to other peppers because the next generation may not look and taste like the parents.
I think after seeing these images, most of you can see why I fell in love with them. The beautiful variegated leaves and fruit worth being used as an ornamental plant. But it happens to work great with all types of seafood, hence the name. And, we love seafood. The information I found about this pepper claimed that it originated in the Caribbean and was brought to the US in the 19th century. It has a medium heat so one pepper is enough for a small seafood pot.
I’ll grow it again this year from the seeds I collected last season. The new generation should look like their parents above. I grow them in pots and move them far from the vegetable garden. I did the same with the first generation and it seemed to work. I don’t need a Fish pepper that tastes like Ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia).