The Fish Pepper

17 Sep

In a year without tomatoes, we’ve been blessed with a sheer glut of every other member of the family Solanacea.

The eggplants–who I always understood to be the prima donnas of the garden–have lived up to at least one attribute of that appellation.  They’ve been utter stars.  They’re beautiful, glossy, richly hued and delicious.

But it has been the peppers that have been the true outperformers.  First came the Czech Blacks with their purple-hued leaves and midnight-colored fruit.  Then, the Cyklons with their big shoulders and long twirled tips that just screamed of hotness.

Then, simultaneously my two favorites began producing at an epic clip, the Leutschaeuer paprika peppers which are simultaneously spicy and deliciously, juicily sweet, and the Hinkelhatz, tiny Pennsylvania Dutch peppers named for their resemblance to a chicken heart that encapsulate everything that is fragrant and floral and delightful about a Habanero, without the tongue-searing heat.  Don’t get me wrong, Hinkelhatz is a hot pepper, but just not that hot.

And now, finally Jawala, a long skinny, wrinkly Indian pepper has given us two ripe peppers (we haven’t tried them yet), and the Fish Pepper, has started acting like a pepper and is producing like there is no tomorrow.

The Fish Pepper is an ARK protected, African-American heirloom pepper from the Chesapeake Bay area.  We still haven’t tasted these peppers yet, but if all you’re doing is planting a garden for how pretty it can possibly be, you cannot go wrong with this plant.  The leaves are striped and mottled in hues of mint, cream and glossy English racing green, and the peppers share this color scheme.

I just hope the peppers, which were traditionally used in fish and crab houses in Maryland and the Philadelphia-area, stand up to the beauty of the plant.  It’s a tough act to follow.

One Response to “The Fish Pepper”

  1. Christina September 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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