The Rocotilla Pepper is a species of the chili pepper that originated from the Caribbean. At maturity, they usually measure three inches in length and an inch in width. They are spherical shaped and upon maturation are deep shades of red. The Rocotilla pepper has a mild spicy squash flavor.
The Rocotilla Pepper is most generally used fresh. It is a very mild type of chili pepper and can easily be consumed raw. Many cuisines use this pepper as a garnish and in salsas and hot sauces. Some individuals string this pepper and hang it to dry in a warm area. After drying, it is easily ground into a powder for use as a seasoning.
Numerous individuals have begun growing their own chili peppers at home. This is due to the fact that many of the varieties are very hard to find on the market for purchase. Some tips to a bountiful harvest of mild Rocotilla peppers are as follows:
- Choose plants that are a healthy green color.
- Select a location that receives a great amount of sunlight and some afternoon shade.
- Plant when there is no longer any danger of frost.
- Leave about two feet between each individual plant in the row.
- Water daily during the season. Never allow the soil to become dry but never overwater.
- Harvest when the peppers are about three inches long and turn a deep shade of red.
- Full maturation usually occurs within 90 days.
- For a milder pepper, pick the peppers about 10 days early and allow ripening indoors.
Hot chili peppers get their heat from the chemical compound, Capsaicin, within each. This compound is present mostly in the ribs and the seeds of the pepper. It is erratically spread throughout the inside of the pepper as well. This compound is used in the test to determine the amount of heat that each species of pepper contains. High Performance Liquid Chromatography is the method used to determine the ranking of a pepper on the Scoville heat scale. Each pepper is assigned a rating in a range. A range is given because the heat may slightly vary depending upon the area and conditions in which a species may have been cultivated.
Photo credit: orchidgalore