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

1 comment:

  1. Nice!
    Seems like a good, allround chili.