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Peppers of Eastern Europe & Russia

(Capsicum annuum)

By Jim (Habanero) Duffy





These peppers are from the countries of Spain, Portugal and France. I grouped these three countries together because some of these varieties are grown across their borders. An example of this would be peppers of the Basque people who both live in Spain and France.







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Petit Marseillais

(Capsicum annuum)



This is a French Heirloom that is very sweet with a mild heat level. Some say it's one of the best peppers they have ever tasted. It has a very citrus tone almost like a Tangerine but less bitter! The Petit Marseillais peppers are blocky in shape about 2 inches in width and 4 inches in length. They are thin skinned and ripen to a yellow orange color. They are great for a mild sauce, roasting, salads or stuffing. The Petit Marseillais chile plants grow just over 2 feet in height.











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Doux d' Espagne

(Capsicum annuum)



This is a Spanish Heirloom introduced to the markets in Spain and Southern France around 1859. Later in the century it became more widespread in the markets in Paris, France. It is also called the Spanish Mammoth pepper because it can get up to 8 inches long and about 5 inches in diameter. It is a very popular pepper in the French culinary market so areas like Algeria and Southern Spain grow it during the winter season for the markets. It is extremely sweet with no heat. A pepper that is great for salads, roasting, frying or stuffing! It is extremely productive and highly disease resistant. The Doux d' Espagne chile plants can reach a height of 3 feet.









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Piment de Bresse

(Capsicum annuum)



This delicious chile grows on the plains of Lyon, France and is named after the city of Bresse. If you look it up under recipes you will find many from that region. This is an ancient Heirloom that has been used for hundreds of years. The fruits ripen from green to red and have a very sweet sugary taste. The heat level is between jalapeno and cayenne. The Piment de Bresse fruits are elongated and are under an inch in diameter and can get up to 5 inches long. They are ideal to eat fried, roasted, stuffed or fresh! They will make an excellent chile sauce! The Piment de Bresse chile plants grow just over 2 feet tall.









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Doux des Landes

(Capsicum annuum)



This is a sweet pepper from the Southwest corner of France called Landes. The name translates into English sweet pepper from Landes. It looks identical to a long skinny twisted Cayenne. The Doux des Landes pepper can grow fruit over a foot long. They are very sweet and fruity! They ripen from green to red. They are used in a Basque recipe call Pipperade. The Doux des Landes peppers can be eaten fried or fresh! It would also make a nice sweet sauce too! The Doux des Landes chile plants grow up to 3 feet tall!











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Sucette de Provence

(Capsicum annuum)



This is an heirloom pepper from Provence. France. The peppers can get up to six inches long and one half inch in diameter. The Sucette de Provence peppers ripen from green to orange and finally red. The peppers can range from almost no heat at all to a Serrano hot heat level. They have fruity flavor and are used in French cooking in all color stages. The skin can get tough if left on plant too long so it is best to roast and peel it off before eating. They are used for sauces, drying and roasted whole. The Sucette de Provence chile plants grow between 2-3 feet tall. Seeds on my site now!










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Pimiento de Arnoia

(Capsicum annuum)



This pepper comes from Galicia which is an area of Northwest Spain. In America you could compare Galicia to a State or Province. It is well known and comes from the small town of Arnoia. The name translates into English "Pepper from Arnoia". Arnoia is in the O'Ribiero region which is famous for it's wine. This pepper has protected geographical status by the European Union while sold when it is still green in color. In other words you cannot sell this pepper in Europe unless it has been grown in the area it is from. Every year this pepper is celebrated in the Arnoia pepper festival. It is one of Galacia's most famous food events. Since 1980 over 20,000 visitors come to consume over 10 tons of peppers prepared in so many ways stuffed, roasted or fried! It is held every August on the famous Boulevard of Quexeira. Most dishes are served with a fine Ribeiro wine. The Pimiento de Arnoia peppers can get almost 6 inches in diameter and up to 8 inches long! Best flavor is when they are green transitioning into red! The Pimiento de Arnoia chile plants grow between 2 to 3 feet tall!





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Gernika

(Capsicum annuum)



Gernika or Guernica is a town in the Province of Biscay, Spain which is in the heart of Basque country. The Gernika pepper is named after this town but mainly grown in the neighboring Province of Vizcaya and is an official protected Basque pepper like the Piment de Espelette. When sold in EU countries it must have a seal certifying this on all packaging. It is traditionally cooked like the Pimiento de Padron which is also fried in olive oil and served as an appetizer. It is lightly seasoned with sea salt just before serving. Like the Padron, it is eaten green and has a mild heat if any heat at all. Some do allow to ripen red and dry for a seasoning powder. It is also good for stuffing like a Jalapeno is sometimes used. Delicious when accompanied by an ice cold beer or fine wine! The Gernika chile plants grow just under 3 feet tall and are very productive.






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Ros de Mallorca

(Capsicum annuum)



This pepper is from the Islands of Mallorca off the coast of Spain. The word Ros means blonde as this pepper will get that color first before it finally ripens red. It is used to make the traditional sausage called Sobrassada. This Sausage is make with Paprika, spices and Ros de Mallorca peppers. It is sometimes cured up to a year. These peppers are elongated much like New Mexican varieties like the Big Jim. Except these get much larger. The Ros de Mallorca pepper can get over 3 inches in width and almost a foot long! It is a very thick walled juicy sweet pepper ideal for stuffing, roasting, frying or pickling. Beast eaten when changing colors. The Ros de Mallorca chile plants grow just under 3 feet tall and should be staked to support the large peppers.








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Cristal

(Capsicum annuum)



These delicious chiles are called the "Foie Gras" of the pepper world! They come from the same region of Piquillo peppers Navarre, Spain. The Cristal plants produce long pendant fruit about an inch in diameter and 6 inches long. They ripen from green to red. They are thin walled and have a rich velvety sweet smoky flavor. Some describe the taste as buttery and decadent! Once roasted you will think someone injected them with some special ingredient! The Cristal peppers can be fried, roasted, stuffed, pickled and I say they would make a heck of a sauce! The Cristal chile plants grow up to 3-4 feet tall.









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Piquillo de Lodosa

(Capsicum annuum)



The Piquillo de Lodosa are another delicious chile from Navarre, Spain. Specifically from Lodosa. It is an official Basque pepper. The flavor is very sweet with a mild heat. They are delicious stuffed, roasted or fried. Peel skin after roasting as it gets tough to chew through. So much flavor it would be ideal to make it into a sauce. The locals roast them and then store in oil or pickle. The Piquillo de Lodosa peppers ripen from green to red and are about 2 inches in diameter. They narrow to a point at end of pendant pods. The Piquillo de Lodosa chile plants grow up to 3 feet tall.










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Piment D' Espelette

(Capsicum annuum)



The Piment D' Espelette is the most popular Basque pepper grown in the villages close to the Pyrenees mountains in Spain. It is a protected status pepper variety. To explain this simply you cannot market this pepper in the EU nations unless it is certified to be grown in the designated areas that make it an official Piment D' Espelette. If grown outside this region it is called by it's name Gorria Pepper. Many countries are doing this with wine and cheeses because they claim the area where they are made or cultivated due to climate, soil and other factors influences the quality. The Piment D' Espelette pepper therefore is an official Basque pepper. Like the Doux Des Landes pepper it is used to make traditional Piperade. However most people dry it and use it as a substitute for Black pepper as it has the same heat level but much more flavor! The Piment D' Espelette peppers can get about 5 inches long and almost and inch wide. They ripen from green to dark red. They are great for roasting and stuffing and in my opinion would make a nice sauce! The Piment D' Espelette chile plants grow just over 3 feet tall and are very productive!





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Nora

(Capsicum annuum)



This was one of many peppers Columbus brought back from the New World. It is said he left it with monks in the Yuste monastery who then spread it to their brothers in the congregation of La Nora in Murcia in the country of Spain. The Spanish Nyora or Nora peppers main area of cultivation is in the Valencia region of Guardamar. It is mainly used to make a dried Spanish paprika powder called Pimenton which is mildly spicy. This is used to season many dishes. When added to dishes it will give them a red color. It is the main ingredient in Bacalao a la Vizcaina which is a Christmas dish of Cod and potatoes. They are also used to season sausages, added to Paella stew and are common in Romescu sauce. The Nora peppers are red to dark red in color and are round resembling a top or small hat. The Nora chile plants grow just over 2 feet tall. If you want to try the Nora fresh for stuffing or a sauce it is recommended you removes seeds as it has so many in the core of the pepper and the seeds will leave a bitter flavor.




At Refining Fire Chiles we isolate our seed production plants to avoid cross-pollination with other chile species. If you want to try it yourself contact us for seeds, plants (March-August) and fresh chiles (September).

We also grow the Trinidad 7 Pot, Trinidad Scorpion, Naga Morich, Chocolate Habanero and many other Hot Chile Pepper plant varieties!