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help with pepper ID

Boilermaker BenBoilermaker Ben Posts: 1,956
edited 12:30PM in EggHead Forum
My dealer, who also owns a nursery, gave me a pepper plant this spring. The label said it was an "italian roaster" pepper. I assumed that meant it was this variety, and it sure LOOKS the same.

But when I cut into one, I found to my surprise, that they're hot. Not screaming hot, but somewhere around jalapeno or serrano heat. Anyone got a clue?

Regardless, I roasted a dozen last night, and put them in the freezer. They're quite beautiful. The ones that aren't quite totally red look like rainbows, when they're roasted, peeled and splayed open. I'm going to use a couple in the romesco sauce for the Eggplant Fries recipe in the BGE cookbook.


  • Could be an Anaheim or bananna pepper. Most of those are usually mild but some can be a bit hotter.
  • I had thought about anaheim, but all the photos I've seen of anaheims show distinct ridges running from pole to pole, and these are pretty smooth.

    I hadn't thought about bananas. We've got three banana bushes, and the peppers ARE similar in shape, but the bushes don't really look identical, and the colors are way off from the other bananas. You can see a couple bananas on the left side of the photo. This "italian roaster" variety is darker green, when unripe, and bright red when ripe. Our bananas are yellow, and when they ripen they turn habanero orange, both the sweets and the hots. I should take a closer look at the bushes, and maybe get a photo of our "italian roaster" bush.
  • looks like bananna pepper to me.
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Looks like an over ripe Anaheim to me, did Nancy grow those? -RP
  • Are your peppers planted close together? They'll freely cross-pollinate, and I've ended up with a hot bell or a mild jalapeno or two in my pepper patch over the years. The weather can also affect pepper potentcy--hot, dry weather seems to make for more intense fruit.
  • I'm guessing she started them in her greenhouse. She gave me the seedling this spring, and it's in our garden.

    These are all round, and mostly smooth. All the anaheims I've seen have a kind of triangular cross-section. I'm thinking it might be hotter than an Anaheim, too. Last night I froze a few fresh jalapenos, for making ABTs, later. Then I roasted a few poblanos, and a dozen of these mystery peppers. I put gloves on at the end, when I cut up the habaneros, for freezing, but the damage was already done. My hands are burned from working with the peppers. I've had them hurt after handling chiles, before, but they're still hurting this morning, especially in the hot shower...just like a sunburn. I'm thinking Anaheims wouldn't be hot enough to do that. These are moderately hot.
  • You might be on to something. These are at the far end of the row, but they ARE right next to the habanero plant, and the next plant down is the cayenne.

    This summer has been very hot, but until recently, it was far from dry. Last couple weeks have been dry, though.
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