Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Go Fish

I've been growing fish peppers for the past couple of years with limited success. In most attempts, I put the plants into my community garden plot and watched as they slowly got munched down to nubs by various varmints during the growing season.

Well no more. I am now growing them in pots in the somewhat safe sanctuary of my own backyard, and my success has escalated...when I can keep the tobacco hornworms off the plants, that is. (I plucked off a hornworm as big as my ring finger the other day. Luckily, we have lots of attentive and hungry mockingbirds around our property.)

Anyway, this year's success of the lovely variegated heirloom Fish Pepper got me thinking: what exactly do I do with the peppers now that I have them? Are they hot? Are they a main dish type of pepper or a flavor-enhancing kind?

Well, trusty old Google provided me with some answers and then some. I learned a lot about where these unique peps originated and how their seeds have survived. Quite fascinating. Read on:

Heirloom Fish Peppers - I don't think there's a vegetable my buddy Kenny over at Veggie Gardening Tips hasn't grown. Check out his interesting and informative article about Fish Peppers.

Fish Peppers - Mother Earth News - William Woys Weaver offers a fascinating look at the history of these peppers, including a great story of how his grandfather was a key player in keeping the seed in circulation.

As for recipes...well, it's difficult to find them, mostly because when you Google on "fish pepper" you get a a lot of recipes with fish and peppers in them. There is some correlation in the name, however, as the traditional usage of the vegetable was as a flavoring in seafood dishes. A-ha!


Unknown said...

Huge fish pepper fan.
Have you ever found any original old fish pepper recipes?

Tamara said...

I have not, Dale. There are a couple of recipes here, but I think they are more modern: http://thehotpepper.com/topic/42496-fish-pepper-white-sauce/