One of my favorite things about the summer is being able to grow my own organic veg. This year I decided to try an experiment and I wanted to share my results. Maybe I am the only person that didn't know this, but either way, I think it's very interesting. What do they say, "small minds amuse easily"?
I choose to grow jalapeño chili peppers this year amongst other vegetables, however, I wanted to see if the chilies would change if they were left on the bush longer. I have always preferred red chili peppers, as I found them more robust in flavor, but in the past, I thought they were a different variety, and this is why they were red rather than green. Guess what, this is not the case.
Here is a photographic study of my chilies as they changed from green to a wonderful red. As you can see, early on they are a lovely green and the flavor while already quite spicy and flavorful, is still a bit bitter and tart.
Now, they are in a transitional stage, which is really amazing, because they have taken on an almost chocolate color. The flavor is not substantially different from the green, but it is changing and becoming less bitter.
And finally, the peppers have fully ripened to their wonderful red color and what a difference in taste. They are still quite hot, but they are also sweet and the flavor is more complex. It's not just a blast of heat, but rather a more rounded overall flavor.
This is a perfect picture to see how they develop in all stages at the same time. In the past I just picked them early on, when they were green, so I never saw this transition.
After doing a bit more research, I have found that this same ripening cycle is true with many other chilies, such as Thai Dragon chilies and Red Bullet chilies, so lesson learned.
If all of this talk of chilies has left you wanted something spicy, I have many wonderful dishes in the archives to cure your craving. Enjoy!