Chilli, Cayenne


Capsicum annuum, Cayenne , plant

I normally grow at least 6 cayenne plants each years which produce baskets of pods, as nothing I’ve yet grown come close to the Cayennes for drying and making a punchy chilli powder.

Chilli, Cayenne fresh and still green

Chilli, Cayenne fresh and matured to red

Cayenne chillis are one of the most widely grown chillis in the world; popular with both the food industry and kitchen gardeners and I can understand why. They are tough, reliable, productive and easy to grow but most importantly they are brilliant in the kitchen. If I could grow only one chilli in my garden, it would have to be this one because it is the most versatile. The fruit are clean and hot with a lovely sharp capsicum flavour and can be used fresh either green or ripened to red, dried they are even better; the flavour deepens and the colour intensifies. Cayenne have thin fleshed pods so they dry quickly and easily, and the dried pods can be used whole, crumbled or ground into a powder. In powder form it is incredibly useful in the kitchen because it is easier to control the chilli heat by adding a little at a time. If you use a whole pod, the deed is done and you cannot take the heat out but a tiny pinch goes a long way and you can transform a whole meal with just a sprinkle.

Chilli, Cayenne pods harvested and dried

Chilli, Cayenne dried and powdered

See post on Making chilli and paprika powders
Original seed source: Gondian
MDD Growing Log
2004 S: March 27 Set out June 23 Excellent crop (ran butternut squash along base of plants worked well provided root shade.)
2005 S: Feb 11 Set out May 30, excellent crop from 6 plants. From self saved seeds.
2006 S: March 29 Set out June 20, super crop 6 plants.  From self saved seeds
2007 S: March 17 failed crop of seedlings (weather) all but 1 plant and the wild boars turfed it up out on the garden.
2008 S: Sept 24 4 pots in house, greenfly reduced health and only a 2 planted in tunnel.

Scovilles (SHU) are the unit of the measurement of heat in capsicums. Pure capsaicin measures 16,000,000 SHU at the other end of the scale sweet peppers measure zero, a medium heat chilli, like a Jalapeños measures 3,000–6,000 SHU and a hot Habaneros can measure 300,000. Chillis are sometimes given a Heat level from 0 to 10 which is based on the SHU.

Note this variety log is part of a series on my favourite varieties; the pick of the crop and the ones that I will continue to grow and save seeds of. I like to keep good records for the varieties I maintain seeds for. See my other variety files

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