Bulgarian Carrot Chile Peppers
Inventory, 5lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 09/28/16
The Bulgarian Carrot chile pepper is available year-round with peak season in the summer and fall.
The Bulgarian Carrot chile pepper is an heirloom variety of Capsicum annuum native to Bulgaria. They are also commonly referred to as Shipkas or Hot Carrot peppers in their native Southeastern Europe. The name of the pepper comes from its striking resemblance to a bright orange baby carrot. The word “shipka” means ‘rose hip’ in Bulgarian.
Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers grow on plants that reach up to 18 inches tall. The sturdy plants can yield quite a few 2 to 3-inch-long peppers that ripen from green to a bright glossy orange. The peppers are thin and long, tapering at the end to a point. The carrot-shaped peppers have a fruity, citrusy taste with a hot and spicy finish. Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers are considered a medium hot pepper. They are roughly twelve times as hot as a jalapeno pepper and are said to range between 5,000 and 30,000 on the Scoville scale, with an average of about 12,000 units.
The spicy Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers are full of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin A. The peppers also contain potassium, magnesium and iron. The compound capsaicin is a known pain reliever, as it acts as an analgesic for nerve and joint pain. It is also lauded for its ability to fight cancer with its antioxidant properties.
The crunchy texture of the Bulgarian Carrot chile pepper makes them excellent for roasting and pickling. The texture and vibrant orange color adds variety to salsas and chutneys. The heat and crispiness of the Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers are ideal for pickling. Use caution when preparing the Bulgarian Carrot chile pepper, the capsaicin (the compound responsible for the spiciness) is contained in the ribs, placenta and attached seeds. Use latex or rubber gloves when cutting, slicing and deseeding the spicy peppers. Use a little or a lot according to the desired spice level of the dish. Add diced Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers to chicken or meat marinades or combine with other peppers and puree with water for a colorful and spicy hot sauce. Store Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers in the refrigerator for up to a week, loosely wrapped in plastic.
According to some, Bulgarian Carrot chile pepper seeds were smuggled out of Russia before the “iron curtain” came down in the late 1980s. The pepper then spread across Europe and was later introduced to the United States.
The Bulgarian Carrot chile pepper is believed to be native of Bulgaria, which lies along the Black Sea north of Turkey and to the east of Greece in Southeastern Europe. It is believed that it was a Caribbean habanero-type that was crossed with the original “Shipka” peppers, creating the long, orange pepper. It is unclear as to whether the pepper is named for the small town of Shipka in central Bulgaria, or for its likeness to the the color of rose hips. The plant itself is well-adapted to cooler northern climates and grows well even in a cooler summer. Bulgarian Carrot chile peppers are most often available by seed from various online sources. It is not commercially grown, but it a favorite of chile pepper enthusiasts and home gardeners. Fresh peppers can be found at small, local farms and farmer’s markets.