‘Pequin’ Pepper

FN2.1 CAP Pequin
‘Pequin’—smoky, fruity, and hot!

Here’a another Blue Ribbon pepper plant that looks like it’s decked out with strings of holiday lights. ‘Pequin’ is covered with lots of tiny, very hot peppers in shades from green to red. Fruits are shaped liked elongated ovals and can grow up to four inches long, though typically they reach less than an inch.

‘Pequin’ peppers rank somewhere near the middle of the Scoville heat scale at 40,000 to 60,000 SHUs. That makes them slightly hotter than a ‘Cayenne’, and about twelve times hotter than a ‘Jalapeño’. ‘Pequin’ has a smoky, fruity flavor that’s very tasty and it’s actually a main ingredient in a major brand of hot sauce. This variety is also popular for salsas, soups, and flavored oils.

Plants are bushy, growing to about three feet and staying fairly well behaved in the garden. We find that ‘Pequin’ looks especially beautiful when we use it en masse; the bushes can be pruned to shape them or control the height. Birds find this variety attractive as well—you’ll sometimes hear it called the bird pepper or turkey pepper because they love to eat the fruits. Lucky for them, the birds don’t feel the burn of the capsaicin like we do.

‘Pequin’ is also sometimes called the rice pepper because of the shape of the chilies. By the way, when harvesting hot peppers like these it’s a good idea to wear gloves.