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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> chile peppers

A Rocoto Bonsai from Finland

Posted by: Dave DeWitt


Our chilehead friend from Finland, Jukka Kilpinnen, has mastered the technique of bonsai chile plants, as evidenced by this beautiful rocoto plant in a classic bonsai pot.  If any of you would like a step-by-step guide to this procedure, it's in English here.  Incidentally, in Finnish, the technique is called bonchi.

Hydroponic Habaneros Helping Kids

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: gardening , chile peppers

Jim Duffy helps kids at youth centers in San Diego.  He comments on his website: "As far as I know, I am the only person growing the world's three hottest chiles in an NFT Hydroponic System. My vision is to expand the business, find more restaurants, and market my salsa, which will facilitate more activities with the youth in East County, San Diego.  NFT stands for "Nutrient Film Technique." The plants are sitting in tubes or trays. The roots of the plants touch the bottom of these tubes. A thin stream of film composed of water and nutrients passes by the roots giving them continuous feeding. Also, this stream of water carries with it an oxygen flow because any continuous movement in a direction moves the air and with it, oxygen. The oxygen invigorates the root system in the tube, causing more growth."

Jim sells 'Bhut Jolokias', 'Red Savinas', and 'Chocolate Habaneros' to feed kids at the youth centers and to send them to sporting events like San Diego State University football games.  To buy fresh chiles from him, call him at 619-504-9777;  his website,  Refining Fire Chiles is here.  Below is a shot of a partial harvest.


At the New Mexico State Fair, Fiery Foods & BBQ editor Gwyneth Doland assists 1546 other chile enthusiasts create the World's Longest Ristra at the NM Department of Agriculture building.

Volunteers help by hanging the ristra, first vertically....

And then horizontally, for a total length of 157 feet, 7 inches.   The ristra was assembled in 7 hours by an enthusiastic crowd of chileheads, including many children.  "They are the future of chile in New Mexico," said NMDA spokesperson James Ditmore, who led the ristra project.  "We will break this ristra record next year," he added.  --Dave DeWitt



Our friend and fellow chilehead Marco Budinis reports from northern Italy.

Ciao, Dave. I took this shot at a winter town festival for St. Anthony in Chiavari.

Peperoni Capperi Acciuga Olive

This is the way I prepare cherry peppers--an easy recipe and very nice taste. They make a very good appetizer.

Ingredients: Cherry peppers, green olives, tuna fish (the one canned with extra virgin olive oil), garlic, parsley, capers, salt, and anchovies.

Directions: Clean the cherry peppers, removing seeds and placenta. Then cook them in equal amounts of vinegar and dry white wine for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove them and drain for 1 hour on paper towels. Place all of the other ingredients in a blender and pulse them until well mixed and you get a dense cream. Stuff the peppers with the cream and put in sterile jars, adding extra-virgin olive oil.

Chile grower Sebastiano Marrone sends these photos of some rather unusual pods from his pepper garden. 'Biquinho' is a Brazilian variety that very little is known about. The name means "little beak."  Rocoto Longo (long rocoto) is a stretched-out version of the Peruvian rocoto that is usually apple-shaped. It is native to the Canary Islands. 'Aribibbi Gusano' is called the "caterpillar pepper" because of its unusual shape. It is from Bolivia and its flavor has citrus overtones. --Dave DeWitt

Allen Boatman, a friend who teaches horticulture in Tampa, Florida, sent me this photo of a variety of Capsicum baccatum that he calls 'Aji Bird'. Amazingly enough, at the time this photo was shot, the plant was only about ten months old. The pods are very much like chiltepins, suggesting that this plant represents a very primitive type of baccatum that was (and still is) spread by birds. It has very large leaves in relation to the pods and Allen says he drops a pod or two into his morning coffee! --Dave DeWitt

Samsung Chile Poster

Posted by: Fiery Foods Manager

Tagged in: humor , chile peppers

Contributing editor Sharon Hudgins was in the Seoul Airport and took a photo of this Korean poster for  Samsung TVs.  Notice the fake tears.  And the fact that the model is decidely not of Korean heritage.  --DD

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