Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Taste report, Caloro, a stunning medium to mild chilli.

Tasting the Capsicum Annuum “Caloro” or should I stop with the scientific gibberish
No I should not.
I won’t bug you too much with it, but a chef should know, and stay at home chef as well. It is much easier to know, so you can categorise it a bit.
So it is an Annuum making it closely related to the Bell Pepper, Jalapeños and Czechoslovakian Black.
This baby has the looks, the smell and the taste of one great pepper, but it is a chilli. She is one sweet sixteen with a temperament that will make you want her. But behold, she bites if you take her the wrong way.

The form is a bit of a jalapeños at first, but gets longer. It turns from green to a lovely yellow, and stays yellow a long time, then at the end it turns to a lovely and bright red. The plants can grow to about 60-90 cm (2-3 foot) and have a stunning high yield. If the first gets red, pick it immediately, if you do that after the first couple red ones you picked it will start to flower again. It looks a bit like the Hot Banana, but at some point it will have a few reds per day between the yellow ones. Yeah I like the looks of it.

Now don’t let the looks fool you, it is a mild to medium chilli, rating from 1000 to 5000 scoville heat units. So it does have some good heat. The smell when you cut it open is stunning, it is sweet and has good herbs. Smelling it does remind me to Jerusalem artichoke a bit along the smell of the herbs, or fatty bacon baked. The taste is sweet, lush, juicy and succulent like a great snack pepper, tasting of a sweet bell pepper and lemonade. This is one fruity lovely chilli, a good snack for a hothead and for people that are not used to superhot it is lovely in salads. If you take out the seed lists totally, it is lovely and mild, but you could just chop one in full, to put it in a Bell Pepper soup. This will give it just that bit of a kick. I have seeds available for this one, if you would like to give them a try.

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Taste report Cumari se Crescente

I got this chilli from Dilly's Chilis Seed Co in the US to write a report about. In fact I got a good handful off 2 different ones all the way from the US to taste and write about. Now travelling half the world didn’t affect them, isn’t that cool?
the Cumari is below the knife

One of them was a bit of a disappointment, taste wise, but a stunning looker called the Capezolli di Skimmia. But this one is superb. It is a dead ringer for the Aribibi Gusano, but deep yellow. The Aribibi has one flower per axil and this Cumari with 3-5 flowers per axil. So it will give you more chillies, and maybe even better looks. This chilli grows up, erect so to say, hihi.
So I had to taste it and would not make the same mistake with this one as I did with the Aribibi, so I only tasted the very tip of it.

This going to be one short taste report for once, get it, you need this one as bad as you need the Aribibi Gusano.
top Cumari, bottom Aribibi
The taste to the Cumari se Crescente is close as I said, but more subtle. It has the chinense taste I talked about, a hint of citrus and the same heat. If you think the Aribibi is over the top, this is a step down in taste. Odd thing maybe, but I think these will combine with chocolate very well.
Handy little bugger to use, as it is easy to dose in a meal. Never eat a handful though, unless you are Ted Barrus !

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Taste report Aribibi Gusano

This worm like chilli has been one of the oddest ones I have seen last year. I got this chilli from a friend of mine in Holland as a must taste chilli, and a must see chilli.
He said the tip of it one could eat without a problem getting the full array of tastes it has. Now that is a greatly said but hard to define thing, because how long is the tip of it? This chilli has no tip, but a sort of like butt if anything. Then again its creamy yellowy appearance does make me wonder how dangerous this could be. So I bit the first bit of the top off, and it was great and really a mouth full of tastes. My son had one to, and did the same, no burn. So we both looked like, well how hot can it be and took another bite. . . . . .

So, this Aribibi Gusano is an odd pepper or chilli, weirdest form, creamy white to yellowish like when it is ripe. More strange, it has a list of possible names about an arm long. Scientifically we are talking about the Capsicum chinense Jacquin cv. 'Aribibi Gusano' but it is also known as Aribibi, Aribibi Gusano, Aji Gusanito, Habanero Aribibi Gusano, Aribibi Gusanito, Caterpillar Pepper, Aribibi Caterpillar, Arivivi Gusano and last but not least Turtle Claw. Now this chilli is supposed to be a chinense, but is also called a Frutescens or a Frutescens / Chinense cross. Now, have I lost you? Well only good as that is how I felt after doing a bit of extra research.

Now to make some clear, chinense is a part of the Capsicum family right? So all chillies are from the Capsicum family, and all peppers are too. The Peppers are from the part of the family called Annuum, so are called Capsicum Annuum. For instance you have the Cayenne chilli, scientifically it should be called Capsicum annuum L. “Cayenne” This scientific stuff would not seem important and sounds like jibberish but it is important. Most people like Annuum chillies and they are among the most used ones in the western world. The Chinense chillies are the group of chillies that bring the hottest ones in the world and have a specific taste that you that you may or may not like. People also call it the Habañero taste, but that isn’t really true. My wife doesn’t like the chinense taste in superhots and does like Habañero, and she is picky. . .

Sorry, this was a taste report?

Well, after the first bite, the second bite is overpowering to say the least. It had me and my son running for the milk and peanut butter. This chilli is hot, 150 K scoville easy, but has a matching taste to come with it for sure. It is very perfumy and very rich in taste. If you cut one open and leave it for half an hour, you will smell it throughout the house. It has a lot citrus and sweet wood like a taste that makes you remind of vanilla. The undertone taste that is in the Chocolate Habañero that makes it lovely is the upper tone in the Aribibi Gusano. It is very strong with its Chinense taste and scent, which you will find in the super-hot chillies. This makes this chilli about the most perfect chilli for people that like the taste of the superhots but do not want to go superhot with their food. Due to its size you can dose it very well. I pop 2-3 Aribibi Gusano in 1.5 Kg of Chili con Carne, and 5 minutes later my neighbour calls me he smelled it and if he can have dinner with us! Yes, all in all a chilli that deserves to be in the top 10 for sure !! I do have seeds available, so you can try them too!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pruning a chilli plant for overwintering !

So, less text this time.
How to prepare a plant for overwintering in the house with normal heat and light.

This is the plant that started leaning and hat some bad spots, too moist and too cold.
So before it is too late, I will have to prune and re pot it.

The first spots started due to a very light night frost.

The rough cutting I do with pruning shears, first the bad spots about 10 cm over to the good branches.

Then I take a knife to do the fine trimming. The branches are cut as far that the main stem is just about not damaged. The round breast like form around the place where the branch comes out, has got wound healing tissue in it and will grow over the cut in no-time.

This is how it looks after carefully cutting it close to the stem.

The ground can be shaken or rinsed out of the rooting system, all brown or mushy looking roots need to be cut out. Percentage wise you can cut as much roots as you did branches.

In the new pot you can add some manure worms, to eat rotten parts from the roots and hold back mould.
The worms will also feed the plant, and the plant will smell different keeping aphids away.

This is how it looks after cutting and pruning. The 2 stems will make 2 nice tree forms if I cut the branches at the bottom next year.

The rest of the good branches hung up to ripen off the chillies, and the dropped chillies with banana in the fruit basket.!

hoped you liked the tips,

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

End of season growing chillies

So it is the end of season hé. Now all chili growers go in Hibernation or depressed. The last fruits are staying green and will slowly go bad on the plants, while the plants wait for frost to bring their poor lives to their sorry end.
Nothing is more wrong. For the last 6 months we had to stick to our choices, and had to wait if the result was good, and the tastes on top. So the brains started working harder and harder, opinions changed about chillies. Colleague growers are asked for opinions, even fruits are exchanged between them and new ideas have formed.

The last fruits are picked if the plants are out in the open, even the green ones. Greenhouses and polytunnels are given a bit of extra heat with paraffin heaters. And plants can be stressed to ripen off earlier. Now this I did get a load of questions about.


If all chillies look fully grown but won't change colour, pick a few. The plant will get stressed to ripen off the others. ( That is why peppers are sold green, not to waste them like garbage )
Give the plant far less water, the plant will get stressed to . . . . Cut a few branches off, the plant will get. . . Put the green fruits in a basket or a sack with banana’s and they will ripen off very fast due to the ethylene given off by the banana’s.

The plant has a hormone system, that is set to grow, to flower and to ripen. If a plant is loosing green peppers, or water, the plant will start to hurry to produce seeds. So, if the chillies are getting ripened, pick em as soon as they are having colour. If all chillies are picked the plant goes into grow mode again

Can you over-winter plants? What to do with unripe fruits, when do I start seeding etc etc.
Well yes, you can over-winter plants in 2 ways. You can cut them back to the bear branches, get the soil out of the roots and prune the roots then replant them in pots with new soil to keep. If you keep them cool and a little moist they will hardly grow, but will not die. You can re-pot the plants prune the roots a bit and put them under artificial lights like LED panels or fluorescent tubes and give them 14 hours of light a day. You can even get the plants to grow well in a windowsill, and if it is at the sunny side of the house you will not have to give extra light. But do not leave ripe chillies in the plant or it will die.
Really, I had a plant from Korea here that gave 80 fruits the first summer, and I put it in the windowsill. In January it started to flower like mad, put water in a pot on the convector and it did not drop a flower. In February I rinsed the soil out of the roots, cut some old roots and gave it new soil. In April I had the first fruits and stopped counting at 200.

If you don’t over-winter your plants, you can cut off the branches that carry fruit and hang them upside down, or you can uproot it, and hang it upside down in a warm and light room, plant goes into survival mode and force ripens the chilies. You can even make cuttings to grow for next year, or seeds from the last fruits and seed them. A seed from a fresh fruit will grow very very fast.

For me now my head is buzzing, what am I going to grow next year? How can I help you to grow the best and tastiest chillies. How I do go about things writing. What recipes to make with the last chillies or the frozen ones later. I still have to taste about some 40 chillies and describe them, I am soo glad winter is coming. Get the time to write, and prepare myself and you for the next season, and get some great chillies !!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Taste report Habanero Hot Lemon

Again a chilli I got from Volker in Berlin, the Habanero Hot Lemon, a stunning looking chilli. Lovely smooth and bright yellow skin, and I was told it is a heavy producer. Unfortunately, I forgot to make a picture when I had cut it, but it does not have a load of seeds in it. This is however one of the oddest Habañero’s I have ever seen. It is almost translucent and I find I even have trouble photographing it. Doesn´t it look superb?
Photo by courtesy from Volker 

With everybody talking to fear the tail I slit along the seed lists to get some taste without scorching. This time I succeeded and got a good bit of a bite without too much heat in it. I didn’t really taste any lemon, but a light and good habanero taste that is not at all over the top. You know with chocolate Habañero you get this overwhelming taste and smell really to fit a the heat it has. Now this overwhelming smell is lacking with this one. It is more subtle, this is a well-balanced chilli with an aroma to go with it. It has a bit of a bitter that is complementing the Habañero taste, almost no sweets in it, lovely herbs and almost totally lacking of Paprika or Bell Pepper tastes.

Some time ago I wrote about slowly getting fed up with the Habañero taste, and this one I think is lovely. It is hot mind, very hot for a habanero, but still I can get the subtlety of it and enjoy it. It is not as much perfumy, just has got a good and fruity smell.

This variety seems only available in Germany by so I was kind of keen to taste it. I have seen several around and looked at the site from semillas, still these look a bit different.
I should have asked, but as it seems Volker did send me this one to get scared, or enjoy the beauty. It is really one amazing chilli.

Now I left half of it to dry and get the seeds out, then I tasted this bit again. Now that is stunning, dried it has some sweets to it, and the herbs sort of have matured to a deep lush and lovely taste. There is still that fruity tone to it and did not lose the subtlety, but the herbs in the taste are just more lovely and complemented with some sweets.
This is really a stunner to dry in my opinion and add to a milder chilli to make a great powder. Maybe it would be nice to add to Cayenne powder to get some real taste and make the powder sort of orange and a bit stronger in heat. I love it and it is one for my growing list for next year !
Thanks again Volker ! Great to see your new blog online!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Taste report Capezzoli di Scimmia

The Capezzoli di Scimmia is a little chilli that looks very nice, it is tiny but it sure has the looks! When I got them from Dilly I had to bite it, and I was soo sorry. Darn this is a hot one ! Totally overblown by its heat, I did not taste a thing, so I left it for a while. Next day I took my crafting knife to it and tried to cut a mild piece out of it and get some taste, this chilli really is hot. I didn’t really get some taste out so I cheated. Sure I did get some fruits and a little sweet, a bit like a piri piri chilli, but not much more. So yeah, I cheated and looked it up.

This chilli has got a good bit of history about it. It has been developed by Dr. Mario Dadomo, director of the Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard an experimental garden in Italy. Well garden, it is a bit larger than that. It is an experimental institute working with a lot more than just chillies, but tomatoes and other crops as well. Research at the Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard covers fertilization, crop rotation, integrated pest management, protection and balance of nutrients in the soil as well as organic cultivation. He worked with over 1200 varieties of Capsicum and is not only developing new varieties, he tries to preserve, maintain, catalogue and archive the Italian Heirloom varieties of chili. Midsummer he has 20.000 to 30.000 chilli plants in his garden, now that is talking hot isn’t it?

Now, after having yet another taste, and getting little out than just a bit of fruitiness, I had it. I tried to get in contact with the good Doctor, and I didn’t get through. Darn ! So I looked at the name again and it means monkey nipple, excuse me?
Now I really have got the feel that the good Doctor is pulling my leg, a chilli called monkey nipple and it is bleeding hot. This really makes no sense, as I do not get the feel of a mother nursing tasting this chilli. Yeah ok the form looks sort of like it.

Anyways, this chilli is hot, very hot. Thank you Dilly's Chilis Seeds for sending these all over from the US!
This really had me challenged, and had a great time tasting it. It is hot, does not have a matching taste to go with the heat. So I would not take this one and grow it for culinary reasons, but just for the fun of it.
It is an excellent looking chilli though, and very easy if you want to spike a meal a good bit. Pop in one and you will be surprised, pop in 2 and you will get hot, pop in 3 and you will be scared. Respect to this mini monkey tit!

Next one coming is a stunner, keep you posted!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Taste report: The Cornish Naga

Again a chilli I got from Volker, the Cornish Naga, a chilli with a warning this time. This one is extremely hot, so handle with care! Well in my post about tasting superhot chillies, I have this way to get the mild parts to taste.

So taking a good crafting knife at hand I started digging in. The smell is different from the normal ghost pepper. It smells sweet and fruity, not as much a herbal smell. Tasting the very tip I get some sweets and a lovely taste, but that was just a tiny bit and the second bit scorched me. The heat is overruling all and is everywhere in my mouth in milliseconds. So after calming down the tongue and mouth I tried it another time with the same result.

Ok, so even the flesh in between the seed lists is too hot to taste too. Compared to the normal ghost chilli, the Cornish Naga is much thicker in the walls, so I peeled a bit of skin with the tiniest bit of flesh from it. Now that should do it you would think, and? Nooooo scorched again !

Sorry dear readers, this is the first chilli that has me burned and defeated. I have done the best I can tasting 3 nights skipping one every time. No wonder I take ages to taste, this one took me 3 nights.
All I can tell, it is crazy hot, all over. There are no milder parts in this chilli other than the very tip of it. I should have cooked it in a meal to see what I can get out, but then I should have frozen one. The taste and smell I do get are unique, very different from the Ghost or normal Naga it has fruits and is sweet. It doesn’t have the smell that some superhots have like the Fatalii and the Morouga, it really smells mostly like fruit and a little like herbs.

Sorry guys, with this one I am getting in doubt if I can taste chillies, this one has defeated me.

Sincerely yours,

Bart J. Meijer

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Taste report Aji Golden

Again from Volker out of Berlin I got the Aji Golden. Up to now the Aji’s have both been great and disappointing I have to say. It is a difficult group or category to taste, some are really awful, a lot of them are close in taste and have minor differences. However, a good few really are brilliant. The subtlety in taste  compared to their burn is a bit off at times.
The more seasoned chilli eater will notice the differences better than the novice chilli eater. Then again, if you take out the seed lists, and keep the flesh they are marvellous in salads and salsas. You could even wiz one through tomato juice giving it a nice touch. Some of the Aji’s have a bit of sour or freshness to them that will compliment a salad. Aji isn’t actually a botanical group, but will tell you more about this later.

Now this Aji Golden is really a great looker, and really is gold. The chillies are in full sun almost translucent and a great sight to grow in your garden at summer. Yes, I love this one. I am a bit in doubt if this really is a original Aji, as the name is not spanisch, but I don't really know. It is a hunch.

The taste: This chilli is sweet, tastes like a Bell pepper, you know a nice sweet yellow Bell Pepper. It has a slight but noticeable citrus in it and no sour at all. There are more fruity tastes in Aji Golden, I can’t really name, it just has more. The seedlists have a slight bitter in them, not too much but just a little, actually complementing the other tastes, maybe giving it a hint of grapefruit. Now, some Aji (Capsicum baccatum varieties) have a strange thing, they have the taste and smell a bit from the outside of a tomato, or rather the leaves and stems. Sometimes it is hardly noticeable and not disturbing the taste, and at times it is bloody awful. If it is hardly noticeable or just a bit, it doesn’t really ruin the taste. This Aji Golden has none, none whatsoever.

I think this Aji Golden is the Zen of Aji’s, great balance. It has sweets, having a great taste of fruits and Yellow Bell pepper and the tiniest bit of citrus. The burn is a bit upfront and not for the weak hearted, but if you take the seed lists out, most people can handle the burn.

Try a salad with this one!

Sincerely yours,

Bart J. Meijer

Thank you Volker for providing great pictures!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Recipe: Twisted Bell pepper soup

This recipe should be called roasted bell pepper soup, but has a great twist to it, you will see. It is a spicy and roasted Paprika soup with cream, sherry and Chipotle chilli. It will warm heart and soul, and get you a real boost with vitamins!

This is an easy recipe that can be made fairly fast.
A vegetarian version is made very easy.
So here we go, what you need:

500 grams of Paprika
Stock cubes or powder for 2 Litre
A good glass of sherry or sherry brandy
200 grams Smoked back bacon naturally cured, for vegetarians 1 Aubergine
2 Jalapeños green colouring to red, or 4 Czechoslovakian Black chillies turning to red
1 Chipotle chilli or 1 smoked Naga
1/4th of a litre cream

Roast the peppers over open fire from your stove or grill them turning them around to get an even roast. The skin should be bubbly and will get some black spots, no worries, that is normal and will not affect the taste at all. You can even do this with a solder burner, or a kitchen burner that you use for Crème Brulé. Let the peppers cool a bit and peel the skin off.
From 500 grams of peppers you will get 400 grams of peeled pepper. You can also buy these in cans, easier but less taste and vitamins.

Once peeled and cleaned out, put the peppers in 1.7 litre of water, and add stock cubes or powder for 2 litres and add 1 Chipotle chilli ( a smoked chilli, not to hot ) very fine sliced and cut no seeds. Seeds should be avoided to get an even creamy smooth soup. For hotheads I would suggest using a smoked Naga, available at Terry Kernow Chilli Farm. Get them to the boil, and keep them on a low boil for about 20 minutes.

Slice the bacon and make very fine cubes about 3 mm or 1/10th of an Inch. If you are vegetarian, roast or grill salted thin salted slices of aubergine in olive oil do not add black pepper.
After roasting or grilling, cube to very fine cubes same size like the bacon.

Chillies; if using Jalapeños use the ones that are getting a touch of red, for looks. If using Czechoslovakian Black chillies, use the ones just turning red, also for looks. Cut the top off from the chilli and clean out the seeds and seed lists, to only keep the mild outside of it. This will make the chillies milder than the soup. Now this is the trick to have a great and surprising soup, as the soup is rather salty and bomb full with herbs. The puzzling bite is the chilli as the Jalapeños is sweet, mild and tasting like fruits. The Czechoslovakian Black has a different taste, having sweet herbs like fresh ground coriander seeds, tasting warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured.

If the paprika has been boiling 20 minutes give it a good wizz with a stick blender, up to the point you get an even creamy substance. Add the bacon or the aubergine and the sherry or sherry brandy at the same time, get to the boil. If you see bubbles you can kill the fires. Add the cream, slowly stirring, and serve.
Add a spoonful of chilli rings at the table; to give every spoonful a different bite.
You will notice the salty aubergine or bacon every now and then, or a bite of sweet chilli that will run through your mouth as a sweet swirl.

Enjoy !

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Taste report Aji Amarillo and Aji Peru Yellow

Aji Amarillo, one of the Peruvian Aji chillies, seemingly the most used one. It has been brought to the Netherlands by Aji Amarillo en Holanda, to bring the great taste to us. Now I did read up on things before trying it, as it seems the famous Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio recently named aji amarillo the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking. Now that is a statement to give some expectations isn’t it? Aji amarillo is used in many classic Peruvian dishes, such as causa rellena and papa a la huancaína. Now that sounds promising, don’t you think?

Now this Aji Amarillo puzzles me a bit, Aji means chilli and Amarillo means yellow. This chilli is yellow alright when it is growing, but it ripens off to orange. So what, is it used unripe only?
Good luck as Volker send me aji peru amarillo and that one is yellow and Alexander Groenheide the man that got the Aji Amarillo send me an orange one.

A bit puzzled I dug deeper, read up on things not getting anywhere, and in the end asked Volker. At first Volker said he bought Aji Peru Amarillo for sure and tells me where he bought them. So I searched that site and only found an Aji Peru Yellow. . . . So I asked Volker again and he said; When I bought the seeds, it still said "amarillo", now they seem to have switched to "yellow", maybe to make it more internationally understandable. But it's the same pictures and post that I saw when I order the original seeds.
Ok sorted, they are different, cool !

The yellow one is not really big, but not small as well. The orange one however is huge, Huge I say, my hands are size 11, I cannot even buy regular motorcycle gloves. . . .
Excuse me for the poor picture

Ok tasting the yellow one it tastes a little sour or fresh, just a touch of citrus in it. The heat is rather high but manageable, and taste is fruity and has some herbs. But this Aji Peru Yellow chilli does have the tomato plant taste in it. The smell of the outside of a tomato or rather a leaf, that is what taste I mean. The real Aji Amarillo however is a whole other ballpark, it is sweeeeeeeeet. Great taste between the seedlists is stunning. It is your perfectly balanced orange bell pepper having both the herbs of a red bell pepper or Paprika and the sweets of the fruity yellow bell pepper. The seedlists have no bitter but have herbs, and loads of heat. Nice herbs that are hard to describe really but that go well with the sweet and herbs in the flesh. I would not dream of talking the full seed lists out, for you would miss out of the extra herbs. But do take out the placenta and the middle part on top.

Stunning chilli and I would love to cook one of the traditional Peruvian dishes with this one !!!

Yours sincerely, Bart J. Meijer

Monday, 8 October 2012

Taste report, Foodorama Scotch Bonnet

As I told you last time, I got his heap of chillies from a bloke in Berlin, Volker. Now this chap grows all on a balcony, and doing mighty great with it. He makes recipe’s I wouldn’t dream to make for they are far too hot for my family, but I noticed he grows chillies with taste. He is able to get the taste even though his food is crazy hot, and he is genuinely looking for more taste. Now that is what chillies are about, not just being hot hotter hottest, no having taste !
So he is sort off in the same race to get more tastes. So he is, sort of a partner in a quest to look for taste in chillies no matter how hot they are. Cool

Soo, I got the Scotch Bonnet Fooderama to taste and after the last Scotch Bonnet I did taste I am a bit worried. Now this name Scotch Bonnet I always thought is a bit weird now isn’t it? I have a bonnet on my car, which is a Reliant by the way. No kidding though I had to search for the meaning on this Scott’s Bonnet and it is coming from Scottish Bonnets a type of headwear. So the name from this chilli comes from the resemblance of Scottish hats, great.

I love the look of this chilli, great forms and all, and he colour is great. Just about your lovely orange and I would say bright. It has a different smell, far from the Habañero but also far from the Trinidad Scotch Bonnet.

So, taking extreme care, I tasted in between the seed lists of this chilli. I took the tiniest bit mind, not to be scorched again, no burn. The smell is being different from the red one, with less herbs but stunning fruits. Took a bigger bite and the taste is strange, it has the herbs be it less than the Trinidad Scotch Bonnet, and it has loads more fruit. It got a weird and lovely combination of sweets like the ones from pineapple, carrot and peach, this is one weird chilli. Next to the sweets, herbs and fruit is has a slight detectable earth note to it, maybe a bit of wood. The burn is different too, not overpowering and not all over, good on the tongue a little on the cheeks and gums going slightly to the back.

This again is not a chilli with Habañero tastes or tones, has no resemblance to the other known chillies or superhots. This chilli stands on its own, does taste like a Scotch Bonnet but with a load of extras. I hope to get my hands on another one to try and cook with one, I’ll bet you, this one will be noticeable but not overruling your food, and will give it just that Caribbean touch without scorching your palate. Sure it is a chilli on the higher end, but use half and you will be stunned with its flavour and taste !

As I ate them, I could not make a picture, so thanks to Volker for providing the images!

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Taste report, Trinidad Scotts Bonnet red

I got his chilli together with a good bunch of other varieties to taste and describe from a good friend in Berlin.
Believe it or not, but he has loads of chillies growing on a balcony in Berlin of all places, anyways. . . .
My good friend Volker picked a good bunch with all different tastes, and not the same that I have. This just for the purpose to write down as much tastes as I can. Soo, I took a look a the Scots bonnet, and they are from the Habañero family, and I have to say I am getting a bit bored with Habanero’s to be honest. I want to taste something new.
So with a bit of a resent I started with this one, and boy is this one stomping hot chilli.

I think in all honesty that due to the attention all the superhot chillies are getting, some others are forgotten. At least these chillies seem to be forgotten in the sense of being rather hot too. And this is a hot one for sure.

This particular chilli has surprised me, first touch is burning and overpowering all palate, and I thought I took the right cut to taste. You know the way I described in the post how to taste superhots. So, peanut butter in and waiting for the heat to subside. About 20 minutes the heat was gone enough to give it another try. Looking better I took a cut at the other side right between the seed lists.
Nanana, again overpowered, again peanut butter. I love that stuff to dampen a burn, works like a charm.

Good, thinner slice even and a good smell, here we go again. This chilli has the scent of a forest with falling leaves. You know the herbs and smell of mushrooms you get at the start of fall, well go to the middle of the forest and take a good snort of air, you will get what I mean? That scent combined with unnamed herbs and total lack of Paprika or that smell superhots have. The taste is hard to get due to its heat, and the lack of a “sweet” spot. The taste has got good herbs about it a tiniest bit of sweets that are overpowered, but not really the standard tastes. And thank goodness for the total lack of Habañero taste, that is getting sooo boring. Yeah I like this one, and have to try one in a dish.

Coming up, the Scotch Bonnet Fooderama, no drama at all there !

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The next Korean heirloom chilli, Soobi Cho

This is the second chili I got from the Yeongyang County (Yeongyang-gun); an inland county in the north-eastern area of North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea.

Again I got very short and fast info:
The soobicho pepper is cultivated since the 1960s, with a hot and sweet taste. These chillies are susceptible to pests, so must be grown with great care. They have a low yield, and are now only grown in low numbers and small areas.

Ok, now that is a load of info isn’t it? I got a bit scared from the bit “susceptible for pests” so I put 4 plants totally isolated in the front yard, and 1 together with other not too special chillies in a different corner also away from my main crop.
So I waited and waited for pests to arrive, but none did. Now as I grow all my chillies in pots, with a mixture of 90% potting soil and 10% worm compost they hardly ever get pests. But this was funny, in the frontyard I even got aphids in tulips and onion sorts, but none whatsoever in the Soobi Cho. So no pests to be seen.

What also stunned me, these chillies, both the Soobi Cho and the Chilsoung Cho would have a low yield, and they do not. The plants bring loads of fruits, and some even tilt under the weight.

It takes a good while for them to ripen, but so do all the other varieties I have this year, so I would say they are normal. The first ones I tasted were odd, really a strange taste. They are sweet and fairly hot, about the heat of a cayenne or slightly more. The darn thing is from the first moment they remind me of tomato. Earlier in the year they really had a tomato taste, and later in the season they lose this more and more, but still keep reminding me of tomato. Now I work with a couple of great taste testers that have tested this one too, and they say the same.
Debating it again with them, we come to the conclusion that the chilli has this as it has some sour along with the sweets. Mainly it has the taste of sweet bell pepper with strong hints to tomato, is fairly hot. The flesh is slightly thicker than a Cayenne and the skin is somewhat tough. The acidity is faint but noticeable to all tasters. I think this is a stunning chilli to combine with the Chilsoung Cho for Kimchi pepper flakes making them a good step hotter. I think I will put them in my regular use flakes as well for their sweet and sour.. Fresh you can cook with them just fine, losing the acidity in seconds however. In a salad these are great used fresh !

Again proud of having a Korean Heirloom,

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Korean heirloom chilli, Chilsoung Cho

I have been waiting for over 18 months to taste this chilli, and believe me my heart was pounding when the first one was ripe enough to taste. Knowing that the first chilli has half the taste of the later ones I had to even wait until last week to really be able to write a taste report.

I am sorry for taking so long to write, I have severe problems with my left hand.

Just a short reminder from my previous posts about Korean heirloom and Korean rare chillies, the chilsoungcho (Chilsoung Cho) comes from the South Korean Yeongyang-gun county in the Gyeongsang province. This is an isolated area difficult to access, so Yeongyang is often called an "inland island". This county is mountainous with deep ravines, and only 10 percent of land is cultivable. The county is famous for its apples and chili peppers, and is home to the Yeongyang Chili Pepper Experimental Station. From 1984, the county has elected a "Miss Chili Pepper" to represent Yeongyang chili peppers.

I was told by my Korean friend Gunsoo Lim that the chilsoungcho chillies were popular in the 80ies and lately are very hard to find. Well I do believe that, he has been searching to find them for more than half a year, and the seeds took 3 months to travel from this regent to his place. The description he had only told 3 things, and that was it. The taste should be mild and sweet and their form that of a Crusian carp. Now if you can do anything with that description, you might be more understanding than I am. Until I saw the first fruits building, what an odd and great form.

Sooo, how do they taste? Is the suspense killing you?
The taste of this chilsoungcho chilli is that of Paprika and has some more herbs in the taste. It is fairly mild and the hot spots, the seed lists, don’t have a real bitter in them. So it has sweets indeed, has it herbs and tastes like a great medium hot pepper. Other than fresh use and being roasted this chilli is used to make Kimchi powder or flakes. Kimchi, is a dish or side dish that closely resembles Sauerkraut or a fermented Coleslaw or pickled greens.
Kimchi is also used as an ingredient for other dishes, so actually it almost can be anything and used anyway and anywhere. So that is a vague description again.
The one I have learned is the one with coleslaw allowed to ferment. There are several chillies used in the Kimchi made from cabbage and chilli, depending on the heat one wants. This is the mildest one. So if you'd love some spicy Sauerkraut, this is the one to make it a little spicy!

I have a few drying and roasting on the woodstove now, and the smell is great! I am honoured to get and have this chilli, for one can hardly even find it in Korea. I have seeds available if you want, but the stock is limited!
Next time I will tell you about the second hottest chilli used for Kimchi.

Until next time,
sincerely yours,

Bart J. Meijer