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Blueberry chile peppers are small and oval-shaped, measuring 2 centimeters long and 1.5 centimeters wide. They ripen from an indigo blue to orange, and then to a bright red when fully mature. They have a medium thick skin, and within, dozens of tiny, flat, white seeds. They offer a slight bell pepper flavor beneath the heat of the capsaicin, the compound responsible for the pepper’s pungency. Blueberry chile peppers measure between 30,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville Heat Unit scale. They are at their spiciest when purple or violet-blue. As they mature to red, the flavor of the pepper sweetens, and the spiciness decreases slightly.
Blueberry chile peppers are available in the late spring and through the summer months. They are also grown indoors for winter availability.
Blueberry chile peppers, otherwise known as Filius Blue, are small, spicy peppers. They are members of the longum group of Capsicum annuum, which includes cayenne peppers and other spicy chiles. The uniquely-colored peppers are also unusual in that as they mature, the heat level decreases, whereas for most chile varieties the opposite is the norm. Blueberry chile peppers are harvested when immature and violet-blue in color, which is how they earned their fruity moniker. They are often referred to as Ornamental peppers and are grown for that purpose.
Blueberry chile plants contain high amounts of vitamins C and A, as well as vitamins B6 and B1. They also contain essential minerals like iron, copper, and magnesium, and the electrolyte potassium. Chile peppers contain antioxidant flavonoids like beta-carotene and lutein. They contain high levels of capsaicin, the alkaloid compound which research has demonstrated anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-diabetic properties.
Blueberry chile peppers are most often used for fresh applications because they tend to lose their heat once cooked. Fresh chile peppers can be added to salsas, sauces, marinades, and sandwiches. They add a striking color to dishes and can be served whole as a garnish or accompaniment. Blueberry chile peppers can be pickled or preserved in vinegar or oil. Store fresh Blueberry chile peppers in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
Blueberry chile pepper plants are small and bushy and produce up to 100 peppers apiece. They grow straight upwards on the plant and is often covered in peppers at different stages of maturity. The multi-colored pepper plant is often grown indoors in the fall and is often given as a Christmas gift. This earned it the nickname “Christmas pepper”.
Blueberry chile peppers are native to Mexico and are most often planted as an ornamental plant. Extensive trials of the pepper plant were conducted by Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society, who bestowed the Award of Garden Merit on the Blueberry chile pepper plant in 2006. It was given the distinction based on rigorous trials and testing, availability, stability as a cultivar, and pest and disease resistance. Blueberry chile peppers are not commercially produced and are most likely to be spotted at local farmer’s markets in the United States and Europe and in home-gardens.