Monday, 31 August 2009

A chile pepper update

The nights are getting darker, and it's cooler. So it's a race against time out on the balcony.

We picked some nice chiles this weekend. If you click on any of the pictures, you will see more pictures of that variety.

The Cheiro amarela with its unusual shape. Isn't it pretty cool?

And the Capsicum tovarii is finally flowering. I hope that the weather guys are right when they say we will have some warm days this week... These flowers don't open the same way some other Capsicum flowers do. I almost looks like a C. baccatum flower, but it is more "waxy" and more "pale".

Also the plant is different looking. Sort of stronger. More "woody". This branch is from my plant that was started from seeds earlier this year.

And also the leaves are a little different. More shiny. Somewhat resembling my old favorite Capsicum flexuosum.

And my old favorite Capsicum chacoense. Small "berries" that easily drop off the plant.

And last but not least. Dedo de moça, one of my Brazilian favorites. Wonderful to eat fresh. We eat it on crisp bread with cheese. Wonderful texture and taste!

Hopefully more later :-)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Harvest time

Finally! The moment I've been waiting for :-) Time to pick some ripe chiles! During the attacks of the strong winds this summer, the plants have dropped some fruits on the balcony floor, which we of course have tasted. But nothing compares to the taste of the fruits that have matured on the plant! So it was a big moment when I picked three pods on the balcony today.

And we were not disappointed. Fantastic taste and heat. I always sense a distant taste of raspberry in the dedo de moça. I picked them nine hours ago, and saved some seeds, without using gloves or else protecting my fingers. And I can still feel a disturbing heat / irritation on my finger tops. Amazing!

Here they are :-)

Hopefully more harvest pictures soon!

Monday, 10 August 2009

My Capsicum lanceolatum

Finally! After a long wait! There are flowers on my Capsicum lanceolatum!

This is how it looked a few days ago:

And today, flowers had developed!
Aren't they beautiful?


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Beautiful Capsicum flowers

Looking at the chile plants on the balcony, I almost feel like I can hear them growing, flowering and producing fruits. Fantastic!

Today I noticed that my Capsicum lanceolatum from last year is starting to flower. It's a small plant with its own growing behaviour, and the flowers that are starting to develop look absolutely fantastic!

I do hope it's not too late for it to produce some fruits. And I'm also very curious about how the flowers will look when they open. More pictures can be seen if you click on the image.

I've always loved the tepin/pequin/piquin plants, because of their beauty. And also of course the taste of the dried pods. So another beautiful variety this year is a chilipiquin (Capsicum annum var. aviculare). The flowers are so tiny, so I think it's hard to capture them, but one always have to try :-) More shots if you follow the link from the picture.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Is it a tabasco year?

Especially if you are not into chile peppers, please continue reading this page, and you may change your impression about what a chile pepper is smiley

I'm not really sure how this summer performs when compared to other typical Swedish summers. But I have the impression that it's been colder, less sunshine and more windy.

Last time I grew tabasco, was in 2002. And I remember that spring and summer, because Carl was born. And it was a very warm spring, quite a warm summer. That was a "tabasco year", giving me a nice tabasco "harvest". So I'm surprised to see that my tabasco this year is a heavy producer. At least judging from the amount of flowers and tiny pods that are on the plant right now.

The same year (2002), my dedo de moça had mature pods in May already. That's not the case this year. But it's definitely one of my absolute favorites. It's a nice Capsicum baccatum with moderate heat and nice flavor. Putting it in a large pot helps, and will easily grow to 1,5 metres height in one season.

I label this year as my "greatest hits year", so another true favorite is the Capsicum chacoense. It's one of the varieties that I grow for its beauty. The plant is delicate, with butter-coloured flowers and wonderful small pods.

Over the years, I've grown several different C. chacoense, and if you're interested to see them, you can follow this link.

I mentioned the rocopica in my previous post, but it's worth mentioning again. A few days has passed since then, and now pods are shaping all over the plant. What an adventure!

My chile pepper journey started 15 years ago at a restaurant in Austin, Texas. Together with friends we had a spicy dish decorated with an orange habanero. We ate our habaneros, but saved the seeds, and I promised to grow it when I got back home. I need to look through my old pictures to see if I find that picture, because it's a story in its own. Anyway...

No year is complete without a habanero! Or at least a Capsicum chinense. This year in my greatest hits compilation, I have the long chocolate habanero, which is a very nice habanero!heck out the pictures from my previous years, because it's a true beauty (you can click on the picture below).

Of course I also have some new ones. I can't say much about them yet. But so far they look fine.

Cheiro amarela, which I'm not certain if it's a C. annuum or C. chinense, but I vote for a chinense. I think that the seeds I got were not completely pure, because the pods are differently shaped on the same plant.

Cheiro laranja is another new one for this year. I know for sure that it's a Capsicum baccatum, because of the look of the flowers.

And last for today, but not lease, the bode amarela. My guess is that it is a C. chinense because there are multiple flowers per node.

That was today's adventure on my chile pepper balcony.

Don't you agree that what can be taken for granted as "a chile pepper", is something much more than you first imagine. Different shapes, colours, heat, flavour. And looking at the plants, completely different growing behaviours. Absolutely fabulous!