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


  1. Please put me at the top of the list for seeds of this one. thanx.


  2. And another that will defo be on my growinglist.
    Thank you for the seeds!!


  3. Do you have any seeds of this one too?

    1. Yes I do.
      I have seeds for 3 Korean Heirloom varieties I described here.