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Fish Chile Peppers
Inventory, lb : 0
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The Fish chile pepper is a heirloom variety with an average of three inch long fruits that have a classic chile pepper shape with broad shoulders that taper slightly towards a rounded tip end. The color of the pods range from white when very young to green with dark green stripes, then maturing to orange with brown stripes and lastly to red when fully mature. The leaves of the Fish pepper plant additionally can range in color from pure green to green with white striping, a characteristic that is a result of the same recessive genes that cause albinism. The Fish pepper offers a subtle sweetness and intense heat with a Scoville range between 5,000 and 30,000. Cooking the Fish pepper will slightly muddle its heat and enhance the peppers sweetness.
Fish chiles are available in the summer and early fall months.
The Fish chile is part of the Solanaceae family, and botanically a member of Capsicum annuum. The Fish chile was first introduced to the commercial market by William Woys Weaver in 1995 through the Seed Savers Exchange program. This chile became popular through its traditional use in fish and shellfish cookery. Also known by some as the Baltimore Fish pepper it is believed to be a hybrid of the serrano and cayenne pepper. Though not yet a commercially successful variety the Fish pepper has made a comeback as a farmers market specialty item and for use in home gardens both for its culinary attributes and as an ornamental.
The Fish chile pepper is used to add heat and a spicy pepper flavor to a variety of foods. Classically it has been used as a means to add an incognito chile pepper heat to sauces and seafood by utilizing the pepper when it is young and still white in color. At this stage the pepper was popularly dried and ground down to make a white paprika that could be used to create white hot sauces or to add a hot pepper kick without adding any color to seafood preparations. It can be utilized in recipes where a pepper that offers a medium to hot heat is desired. The Fish pepper pairs well with lime juice, pineapple, white wine vinegar, garlic, cream based sauces, shellfish and fish. To store keep fresh Fish peppers refrigerated and use within one to two weeks.
Fish chile peppers were a sought after ingredient among African American chefs and caterers in the nineteenth and early twentieth century for use in seafood preparations.
Fish chile peppers are believed to date back to the 19th century in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The history of their lineage has been passed down predominately through oral tradition, which tells the tale of their use as a pepper popular with African American chefs and home cooks in and around Baltimore and Philadelphia. They are mentioned as an ingredient in many cookbooks printed in the early 1900’s, then by the mid 1900’s their popularity diminished and they disappeared from the culinary scene until the 1990’s. Luckily seeds were saved by a folk painter, Horace Pippin who would later pass on the seeds to a bee keeper, H. Ralph Weaver in the 1940’s who would then eventually come to pass the seeds on to his grandson, William Woys Weaver. Weaver would in time pass the heirloom seeds from his grandfather onto Seed Savers Exchange yearbook in 1995 making the unique pepper once again available to farms and home gardeners. Care should be exercised when growing these peppers and adequate spacing provided between the Fish pepper and other pepper variates as the recessive gene responsible for their signature striping can spread via wind and pollen to other nearby plants.
Recipes that include Fish Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Coconut + Lime||Pickled Fish Peppers|