That’s hot!

I’ve been growing a couple of chili 🌶️ cultivars this summer, and many of them bear quite some fruits. I grow Habaneros, Jalapenos, some droplet-shaped orange sweet pepper and normal bell peppers. Of the Habanero cultivars, three came from a colleague at our department. She and her partner grow hot chilis every year, and apparently like their spicy foods.

The varieties I got from my colleague were named Aji Umba, Martinique and Tobago Hot. I had no clue how hot these things would be. The latter one I obviously expected to be worthy of its name, and well, the other ones still being Habaneros, I also expected to be somewhat hot. The one Habanero I bought as a seedling in the garden center ranks 10/10 on their spiciness index. I’m also not sure what that’s supposed to say, because the average customer here has a Bavarian Weißwurst as the spiciest part of their diet, so maybe it’s to protect them from stupidity?

My garden center red Habanero, still green in this picture from last week

The Habaneros from my garden center variety started coloring red this week, so I harvested the ripe fruits so the plant could invest energy in making more. The three other Habanero cultivars have also born fruits for weeks already, and although I waited for weeks for a change of color, nothing appears to be happening. Maybe they need more sun? This summer has been absolute shit. Maybe I should just be more patient? As I was harvesting the red Habaneros this morning, I was just too curious to leave all the others, so I decided to pick an Aji Umba and a Martinique. You know, to have a taste of what’s going to come…

Tobago Hot – just one fruit on this one the plant suffered because the wind blew it off the shelf and I only noticed a few days later. It’s full of new flowers, so I expect more. Seems to be huge and juicy.

I sliced the thinnest slice of the Aji Umba, and, having some experience with dangerously hot chilis, just briefly touched the flesh with the tip of my tongue. The next ten minutes my mouth was on fire. Jesus Christ,these things are insane. Since ten minutes after, I’ve had a splitting headache, but I can’t say for sure that it’s related. Also, they tasted like nothing, just liquid fire. I guess that’s because they are not yet ripe enough, and they might get some more sugars in until they have fully matured.

Aji Umba – this one is filled with chilis and has many new flowers too.

I was planning to make a whole bunch of hot sauce and offer it to friends and colleagues, but with these bad boys, I’m not even sure if they’re a nice gift to anyone. I’ll see if I can find a way to dry them after maturation.

Not sure if I need to grow them again next year, I already have a two year supply this year, but I love growing them. Chili plants just make wonderful pet plants!

Martinique – this is mostly just a fantastic plant. It grows so well and has a very beautiful height to width ratio. I hope it tastes good…

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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