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Trini Seasoning Peppers


Jenni
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I'm not quite sure where to put this, so please feel free to move it if it's not the right forum. I didn't put it in the Caribbean forum, because I want it to reach a wider audience!

I'm quarter Trinidadian, and when I visited Trinidad in 2000 (I think!), I ate lots of a delicious pepper called a seasoning pepper. It has an amazing perfume, and all of the flavour of a habenero/ scotch bonnet but with none of the heat. It looks a rather like them too. Anyway, my Dad and I eagerly salvaged some seeds from a salad we ate and started growing them when we got back home.

I love them. They taste absolutely sublime. When you cut one up, you can smell it all round the room! I think they shine brightest raw in all types of salads, from simple leafy affairs to pasta or legume dishes. Their good cooked too though, don't get me wrong. Once when we had a glut, and not enough room in the freezer to store them, we put them in a dish of mashed potatoes! Oh gosh, that was divine...

The problem is, we think that our plants must now be cross fertilising with our habanero plants and other chillies, because the seasoning peppers seem to be getting hotter! Not a problem, we're all chilli heads in my house, but it does seem a shame that we are losing the original character of the peppers.

Unfortunately, we cannot find a source for them anywhere. We've bought things labelled "perfumed peppers" from some suppliers before, which had a description that sounded very similar, but ultimately it didn't really seem the same. From a Madhur Jaffrey book, I've heard that a pepper with similar properties is sometimes used in Cuban cuisine, and I'd be mighty surprised if it isn't used on many of the islands of the West Indies. My question is, has anyone else tried these delights, and does anyone know where I can get some more seeds to grow more plants? The thought that I may not be able to have access to them if our plants die or deviate much more in flavour is making me extremely sad! I'm yearning to go back to Trinidad, but sadly that's not an option right now...Please help!

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I'm quarter Trinidadian, and when I visited Trinidad in 2000 (I think!), I ate lots of a delicious pepper called a seasoning pepper. It has an amazing perfume, and all of the flavour of a habenero/ scotch bonnet but with none of the heat. It looks a rather like them too. Anyway, my Dad and I eagerly salvaged some seeds from a salad we ate and started growing them when we got back home.

The problem is, we think that our plants must now be cross fertilising with our habanero plants and other chillies, because the seasoning peppers seem to be getting hotter! Not a problem, we're all chilli heads in my house, but it does seem a shame that we are losing the original character of the peppers.

Peppers cross-pollinate quite easily and you can't grow more than one variety in a home garden if you want to collect seeds that will breed true. I also collected seeds in Trinidad, but even the next generation didn't breed true. If peppers are being grown for consumption rather than seed, as I believe these peppers were, it is simpler to grow different varieties together and not worry about cross-pollinization. The cross doesn't show up until the next generation.

Well dried seeds will keep up to five years in a glass jar stored in the refrigerator, in case you come across a large batch of seeds.

If you can find a variety labeled goat peppers, I think you will find them similar to those you seek.

Jim

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Yeah, we knew about the cross pollination but it hasn't started to really affect the flavour till now (8 years later!). So far we've been using cuttings, seeds and also just looking after the original plants as best we can to keep them going, but I feel like they aren't going to last much longer.

Hmm, I've never heard of goat peppers, but I'll definitely look them up! If anyone else has any other ideas about alternative names, that would be really helpful. As I mentioned before, we've bought something labelled "Trini perfumed peppers" before, and although they were indeed a non-hot, good tasting pepper, they weren't the same. I guess that means there are a few varieties out there.

ETA: Just did a quick google and the first page I came up with said that goat pepper is an alternative name for habeneros, so that's not what I'm looking for. Where have you heard goat pepper used to denote a non-hot perfumed relative of the habenero?

Edited by Jenni (log)
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I'm quarter Trinidadian, and when I visited Trinidad in 2000 (I think!), I ate lots of a delicious pepper called a seasoning pepper. It has an amazing perfume, and all of the flavour of a habenero/ scotch bonnet but with none of the heat. It looks a rather like them too. . . . Unfortunately, we cannot find a source for them anywhere.

Our friend from Trinidad orders Trinidad Seasoning and Trinidad Perfume plants from Cross Country Nurseries every spring. They sell plants rather than seeds. Good luck!

ETA: Whoops, just realized that a U.S. source might not work for you. Sorry.

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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*drools* Oh my gosh, that is so frustrating! They have beautiful looking plants, but they don't ship internationally! I don't suppose your friend could be persuaded to post some seeds?

She grows a variety of chiles, so unfortunately the seeds would be cross-pollinated.

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She grows a variety of chiles, so unfortunately the seeds would be cross-pollinated.

I just checked out pepper pollination in one of my Seed Saver's Exchange books. The word from them is that peppers will self-pollinate, but that insects can and do cause cause considerable crossing. They suggest wire frames, completely covered with Remay fabric. The fabric is thin enough to allow rain and sunlight through, but will keep insects out. An other alternative they suggest is separating each variety by 1/8 mile, but this probably won't work for most home gardeners.

Jim

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ETA: Just did a quick google and the first page I came up with said that goat pepper is an alternative name for habeneros, so that's not what I'm looking for. Where have you heard goat pepper used to denote a non-hot perfumed relative of the habenero?

Goat peppers definitely are C. Chinense, but the ones I've had are significantly milder than habaneros. I'm speaking from personal experience, not quoting an official source. I'd describe them as mildly spicy but with all the fruity aroma associated with habaneros. I think they are native to Barbados.

Jim

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I'm quarter Trinidadian, and when I visited Trinidad in 2000 (I think!), I ate lots of a delicious pepper called a seasoning pepper. It has an amazing perfume, and all of the flavour of a habenero/ scotch bonnet but with none of the heat. It looks a rather like them too. . . . Unfortunately, we cannot find a source for them anywhere.

Our friend from Trinidad orders Trinidad Seasoning and Trinidad Perfume plants from Cross Country Nurseries every spring. They sell plants rather than seeds. Good luck!

ETA: Whoops, just realized that a U.S. source might not work for you. Sorry.

Bruce~

Thanks for the link to this site, it is awesome (and will ship to CA !) I love the fact that the charts are sortable.

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ETA: Just did a quick google and the first page I came up with said that goat pepper is an alternative name for habeneros, so that's not what I'm looking for. Where have you heard goat pepper used to denote a non-hot perfumed relative of the habenero?

Goat peppers definitely are C. Chinense, but the ones I've had are significantly milder than habaneros. I'm speaking from personal experience, not quoting an official source. I'd describe them as mildly spicy but with all the fruity aroma associated with habaneros. I think they are native to Barbados.

Jim

The thing is, Trini seasoning peppers aren't mild in heat, IMO they have no heat. I can't speak from experience, but it looks like Goat peppers is the name applied to a variety of C. Chinense grown in Barbados. Argh, I'm really confused now, but most sources online I have seen that refer to goat peppers are talking about something hot.

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Hello,

I am from Trinidad, if you want seasoning pepper seeds let me know, I also grow a few pepper hot plants of my own.

How did you manage to keep a pepper plant going 8 years ?

Thats a very long time for a pepper plant.

Let me know

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