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Highlander Hot Chile Peppers
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Highlander Hot chile peppers grow on large, tall plants. The peppers are two-lobed and have a semi-flattened shape. Highlander Hot chile peppers grow 7 inches long, and taper to a point. They are green at maturity and ripen to a cherry red, however they are most often always harvested when green. The long peppers have thick walls and are a spicier version of a typical Anaheim chile, with a medium heat level similar to a poblano. The Highlander Hot chile pepper is around 1,000-1,500 Scoville Heat Units.
Highlander Hot chile peppers are available in the summer and through the fall months.
The Highlander Hot pepper is an Anaheim-type pepper, a hybrid variety of Capsicum annuum, a classification that includes bell peppers and both spicy and mild chile peppers. The Highlander Hot was developed to be a hardier plant in cooler temperatures, where some Anaheim type peppers don’t tend to produce very well. It is often compared to the NuMex Joe E. Parker, another Chili Pepper Institute release.
The Highlander Hot chile pepper is high in vitamins C, A and K. The peppers contain important minerals like calcium, iron and potassium. All peppers contain important essential nutrients, like folate and lysine. The capsaicin in the peppers has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Highlander Hot chile peppers are often used green, when the pepper has a milder flavor. The peppers are an ideal size for stuffing with meats, cheese or rice. Use Highlander Hot chile peppers for chile rellenos. Stuff Highlander Hot chile peppers with sausage, cheese and herbs and grill or bake the peppers. Roast and chop Highlander peppers and add to egg dishes or potatoes. Use Highlander Hot chile peppers in salsas or raw in salads. Store Highlander Hot chile peppers in the refrigerator for up to a week. The peppers can be roasted or grilled and frozen or canned for longer preservation.
Anaheim peppers may have their name due to an ancestor in Anaheim, California, but they are truly a subtype of New Mexican chile peppers. The NuMex varieties were first bred at New Mexico State University. The “NuMex” title generally indicates a cultivar created by the Chile Pepper Institute, though it is sometimes used synonymously with Anaheim-type chiles.
The Highlander Hot chile pepper is a hybrid developed by the Chile Pepper Institute of New Mexico and then field tested at Johnny’s Seeds in Maine. The pepper was hand-selected for its mild heat and longer fruits, as well as its early ripening time. The primary factor in the selection of the Highlander Hot pepper, was its productivity in cooler climates of New England. Bell peppers, spicy peppers and sweet peppers are all members of Capsicum annuum, and are native to South America and the Caribbean. Portuguese and Spanish explorers brought pepper seeds back to Europe and they quickly caught on in the fertile Mediterranean region. Bred for the cooler climates of North America, the Highlander Hot chile pepper is not grown commercially. It is available through seed companies and may be found at local farmer’s markets or small farms.