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Pepper Profile: Fatalii PDF Print E-mail
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Pepper Profile: Fatalii
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What a pepper--it looks so innocent, but if you cut open a Fatalii pod and take a wiff, you'll get a clue that a very, very hot chile is waiting for another victim!

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Mature Fatalii Pod

The Plant

Like the Habanero, Scotch Bonnet and Red Savina, Fatalii belongs to the Capsicum chinense family. Due to their high dehydrocapsacin capsaicinoid content, C. chinense peppers typically offer a somewhat delayed heat sensation that sneaks up on you. If you ever tried a habanero or a habanero sauce, you know what I'm talking about. On the contrary, the Fatalii also delivers an instant burn. Add an intense, fruity flavor, and you have an interesting habanero alternative.

The Fatalii pepper originates in Central Africa, evolving from peppers that returning slaves brought to their home continent.

Growing your Own

Fatalii seeds are available through various pepper seed vendors. During growing season, small plants are available from www.chileplants.com

The plants grow 20 to 25 inches in height, and plant distance should be about the same.

Fatalii plants love full sun and really thrive in a greenhouse. The plants are also suitable for containers--which is great, because you can pick the sunniest place around the house and get them indoors in time before the first fall freeze kicks in (like with all pepper plants, freeze would be fatal to Fatalii). Don't overwater--a little stress makes the pods even hotter.

The pendant pods get 2.5 to 3.5 inches long and about 0.75 to 1.5 inches wide. From a pale green, they mature to a bright yellow (there are red Fataliis around as well, but the yellow one is the "real thing.")

Mature and immature Pods on the Plant

Mature and immature pods on the plant. Typical for
C. chinense: multiple pods at each node.

Culinary Use

If you cut them lengthwise, the rather thin-walled Fatalii pods are easy to dry. In more humid climates, you may have to use a dehydrator. Using a retired coffee grinder, you can turn the dried pods into a wonderfully hot and flavorful powder (store it in a cool, dry and dark place). The pods also freeze quite well, but their fruity fragrance is enjoyed best when fresh.

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