Crossed peppers: Pimento and Bird

Crossed Peppers: Pimento hot like Bird Pepper

Pimento pepper has been a secret ingredient in many pots and called ‘seasoning pepper’ in Trinidad and Tobago. It gives off a peppery aroma yet adds a mild, sweet, barely spicy flavour to foods. It is the opposite to Bird pepper which is known to make any pot scorching hot if used in abundance. Thanks to cross-pollination that can occur between sweet and hot peppers – source – the confusing crossed peppers originate. They look like Pimento peppers in your home garden and at the supermarket but taste like blazing hot Bird peppers. Many times, people only realise they have these peppers after they have already cooked a large amount in their pots.

Crossed peppers: Pimento and Bird
Pimento peppers

Crossed peppers size and flavour

In gardens where both sweet and hot peppers are crossed, the new peppers usually have a unique size and flavour. They tend to look thin, long and taste fiery like Bird peppers but smell and taste sweet like Pimento. Discovering crossed peppers in your garden can be exciting knowing that this was the work of your self-pollinating plants.

Crossed peppers: Pimento and Bird
Pimento peppers at left, Bird peppers at right and a combination of the two at centre.

What to do when your pot is too hot

If you mistakenly cook hot Pimento peppers, then you have three choices. One, brace yourself to have watery eyes, runny nostrils, smoking ears and a dripping tongue while you eat. Two, leave the food for someone else who can handle the spicy peppers and eat something else. Or three, neutralise the peppery flavour by adding sugar or milk to the pot of food – source.

Crossed peppers: Pimento and Bird
Peppers crossed between Pimento and Bird.

May 2019

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