The Anaheim Pepper is a milder species of chili pepper. In the early 1900’s, a farmer by the name of Emilio Ortega brought pepper seeds to Anaheim, California. Therefore, the peppers were given the name Anaheim. At maturation, the pepper can grow to lengths of six to ten inches and have widths of two or three inches. The Anaheim pepper is one of the largest species. It has a thin wrinkled skin at harvesting time with a dark green to dark red color. The pepper has a flavor of spiced pears. With a pungency rating in the range of 500 – 2,500 SHU or Scoville Heat Units, the Anaheim is a mild pepper. However, the variety grown in Mexico tends to be more pungent. These were developed especially to meet the demands of Mexican cuisine.
Many supermarkets and grocery stores around the world offer the Anaheim pepper. Many growers pick this pepper when it is still green. The peppers available on the market are often still green. These peppers will ripen at home after purchase. Anaheim peppers that are ripe will be red. Red pods should be used more quickly. The peppers can be used in cooking whether red or green. Most culinary chefs use the Anaheim while it is still green. It has a much milder pungency. Anaheim peppers that are extremely wrinkled and soft should be avoided.
Growing Anaheim Peppers
Many individuals have begun to make growing fruits and vegetables a hobby. Anaheim peppers can be grown by nearly anyone. There are some basic tips to cultivating peppers. Some of these tips are as follows:
- Select pepper plants that are vibrant with a good color.
- Check stems and leaves for damage.
- Choose an area for planting that gets full sunlight and evening shade.
- Place plants with at least two feet of space around each in a row.
- Fertilize the plants once a month.
- Water regularly. Never allow the soil to dry completely but do not over water.
- Use only non-chlorinated water. It is best to use rain or well water.
The Anaheim pepper should be fully grown and ready for harvest in about 100 days. For peppers with a mild pungency, individuals should harvest the peppers about two weeks earlier. The peppers will be mostly green in color at this time. They will ripen indoors.
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