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Peppers -- best use for each variety?

OK I'm finally getting lots of colored peppers and need to do something with them.

Can some of you pepper experts break down which varieties are best used for what kind of cooking and preserving?

Also please mention which sweet ones are good as green peppers, which colored ones are good for fresh eating, which ones really need to be roasted and peeled, and which fully mature colored ones I should particularly reserve for fermented hot sauce and dehydrated spice.

Mostly sweet peppers are fully colored now -- I have Peperone di Senise, Donkey Ears, Doux Long d'Antibes, Chocolate Cake, Giant Marconi Red, Tollis Sweet Italian, Lipstick or Pimento, King of the North, Mini Paprika Red and Orange, Trinidad Perfum (not quite right shape), Peppadew. Still waiting for Yellow Cheese,and Sweet Ingrid to blush. Also have Fehérözön Paprika, Alma Édes, and Szentesi Feher (White from Szentes). Possibly Romanian Rainbow.

Hot peppers - Bolivian Rainbow and Fish are both thin fleshed and I think good for the fermenting and dehydrating. Starting to turn color or still green are not quite Scotch Bonnet, Takanotsume, Yatsufusa,Thai Sun, Thai Dragon, Arbol. There is a plant that is either Seasoning Naga or a Bhut Jolokia (red or peach) -- still waiting for signs of blooming and fruiting. And Dunkel violetter which are purple foliage white variegated plants that may be only ornamental.

Also have Jalapeños of course.

Some are still struggling and stunted and probably won't make any peppers for me this season but I intend to pot them up and overwinter them. Among them are Hanoi Market and Sivri Biber.

I had a lot of hot pepper seeds/seedling failures (my fault) so my list is missing some notable varieties -- if you see any blatant must have variety omission, please let me know so I will put them on top of my list for next year.

Super Green Thumb
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You ready to do some pepper tasting, apple?

I say this because this is really the only way to figure this out. I have found that many, if not most, of the ornamentals aren't very tasty when immature, being bitter, and not having much of the flavor I want in a green pepper. Many peppers don't really have a very good flavor when ripe, and about all that can be done with them is to dry them, though even then, the flavor isn't as good as the better ones - mostly just hot. The best peppers have good flavor when green, red, and dried, which is unusual.

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In the past I have noticed that it's hard for me to say for sure if a fresh pepper is a good roaster just by eating. I can't tell that pepper skin is thick or tough like I can with tomatoes.

Yesterday, I tried roasting some. Here are my findings, but your own conclusions may vary.

It turned out that Chocolate Cake is an excellent roaster -- thick walls and thick skin that turns tough Like plastic and pulls off easily. Super sweet, too. I have been told this is also a good variety to use smoked and dehydrated then ground into powder skin and all in smoked paprika blend to mellow the heat.

Giant Marconi Red had surprisingly thin skin -- thin skinned ones are harder to peel roasted and are better fresh cooked and also can be eaten raw.

I completely ruined a Doux Long d'Antibes -- a yellow horn shaped pepper -- thin tender skin and not so thick walls all caramelized and plastered together. This one is really sweet and definitely best eaten raw or put in recipes that need smoother texture/mouthfeel. I bet it would also make a good addition for mellowing fermented sauces especially if you plan to purée at the end rather than food milling/straining.

-- Based on your observation Pepperhead212, this variety might also be good green, but I don't know if I want to sacrifice the fully ripe yellow gorgeousness! I think I need to plant more next year. :>

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What are your sources on seeds for Doux Long d'Antibes if you guys don't mind me asking? I purchased a pack from and haven't been able to get a single one to germinate. Nothing I purchased from that particular site is germinating and she's not selling that variety anymore regardless. I have found new sources for all the seeds except this one. I can't seem to find even one U.S. supplier offering them.

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The Giant Marconi and Italian are frying peppers. The bell peppers are sweeter when they color up but have a short shelf life. They are good fresh in salads or can be cooked, roasted or stuffed.

The only peppers I like roasted besides the bells peppers are poblano and Anaheim or Hatch peppers. Jalapenos and serranos can be roasted to make roasted salsa, which I like better than regular salsa. Yatsufusa and Thai dragon I have used fresh in Asian stir fries and soups. Thai and Vietnamese cuisine uses peppers in almost every dish. The leaves at the very tips can also be put in soups. Medium hot peppers like hungarian wax, Jalapeno, serrano, and tabasco peppers are also good to spice up soup. Usually it is fish soup. Tabasco, serrano, jalapeno, thai bird peppers have all been good in pepper sauces like chli pepper water and hot chili paste.

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My source for Doux Long d'Antibes was Ellie of Bunny Hop Seeds who if I remember correctly got hers from Cherrygal -- that name sounds familiar. I remember she had mentioned getting a whole bunch of new varieties from that source and were growing them. But I'm not sure if she's selling pepper seeds atm. (btw You reminded me that I didn't start any DLdA from seeds, hoping the one plant survived in the garage... :? )

Pepper seeds can be difficult. I'm still getting my seed starting technique down for peppers and also eggplants. 4 pepper varieties didn't come up for me this time -- one was a variety received in trade from Philippines :( . I wish they were as easy as tomato seeds, though I have to admit I had some trouble with a handful of varieties. But by the time I'm overwhelmed to plant all the other seedlings that sprouted, I can regretfully, but decisively forego those varieties to try again next year/time. :>

These are the pepper varieties I have growing from seed this year:

Pepper, Aji Pineapple
Pepper, Antohi Romanian
Pepper, Bhut Jolokia Peach
Pepper, Black Brant
Pepper, Brazillian Starfish
Pepper, BST Lady Bug
Pepper, Bulgarian Carrot (hot)
Pepper, Chocoloco Sweet
Pepper, Damalik Bieber
Pepper, Golden Habanero
Pepper, Jalamundo
Pepper, Jaloro
Pepper, Madame Jeanette
Pepper, Red Monster Bell
Pepper, Shishito
Pepper, Tolli's Sweet
Pepper, Yellow Giant
Pepper, Ros de Mallorca

From memory, I have in the house -- Fish, Thai Dragon, Sun Thai, Yatsufusa, Takanotsume, Jalapeño, Alma Edes Sweet, Hanoi Market (f2?), Dunkel Violetter, Bolivian Rainbow, Peppadew, and a couple of white Hungarian peppers that I can't remember the name of. The garage sweet peppers need to be checked to see if they survived, though I did see many of them did not.

Next year, I want to try to grow the big Korean sweet/hot red peppers typically used for their cuisine... But I have to find source of seeds.

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I can't seem to contact them, but it seems that bunny hop seeds no longer sells the Doux Long d'Antibes, and I know that cherry gal no longer does either. It's unfortunate because I had really gotten my hopes up on that variety from what little info I had gotten on it. If you happen to have some seeds left that you'd be willing to part with, I'd happily offer to pay postage along with what you think they're worth. I'd offer a trade, but from your list of what you're growing this year, I'm not sure I would even have any seeds you would need or want. Either way, thank you for getting back to me in regards to your original source for them.

I mainly stick to sweet peppers, but have a few hot ones thrown in for making hot sauces and pepper flakes. The peppers I'm growing from seed this year:

Sheepnose Pimento
Sweet Savour
Yummy Orange
Hungarian Cheese
Planet Hybrid
King of the North
Autumn Bell
Trinidad Perfume
Pimento L
Tequila Sunrise
Coral Bell
Sweet Sunshine
Mellow Star
Italian Pepperoncini
Sweet Heat
Fooled You Jalapeno
Cherry Stuffer
Big Daddy
Lemon Dream
Corno Di Toro
Alma Paprika
Orange Sun
Tangerine Dream

In addition, the three I got from Cherry Gal that I just cannot get to germinate are the Doux Long d'Antibes, Aji Dulce, and Aconcagua.
I haven't tried to overwinter a pepper plant before. I may try this upcoming season. I'm already growing a crazy amount of peppers in my basement though, so it may not be necessary to even try it. I'll see how things go this season.

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