The Calabrian chili plant, also known as the diavolicchio or zucchini pepper, is a beloved variety in Italian cuisine. With its moderate spiciness, measuring around 30,000 on the Scoville scale, this chili adds a delightful kick to any dish. What sets it apart is its ability to effortlessly elevate even the simplest recipes, making them delicious and unique. The Calabrian chili’s accessible level of spiciness makes it a perfect candidate for preserving in oil, showcasing its exceptional fragrance and taste.
Plant: Natural Beauty and Easy Cultivation
The Diavolicchio plant boasts a large and bushy structure, making it easy to grow. Its small leaves surround the fruits, which measure around 2-3 cm and turn vibrant red when ripe. Notably, the fruits grow in clusters, differentiating this variety from others. It is no wonder that it is commonly referred to as the Calabrian chili in brunches.
Cultivation: Nurturing the Flame
When it comes to cultivating the Calabrian chili plant, there are two options:
Direct Germination: Plant the seeds directly into the soil in March or April. Ensure the seeds are covered with a few millimeters of soil and keep the soil moist. It’s crucial to maintain a nighttime temperature above 15 degrees Celsius to facilitate germination.
Indoor Germination: For larger plants by March or April, germinate the seeds indoors in February. This method requires more care, such as temperature control. Once the seedlings emerge, they should be kept close to a heat source with ample light and a moist base. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-grown plants between March and June for a hassle-free cultivation experience. However, keep in mind that germinating the seeds beforehand will yield plants that are more than twice the size.
To ensure the proper growth of your Calabrian chili plants, adhere to these basic guidelines:
- Provide ample sunlight by placing the plants in a sunny location.
- Maintain adequate moisture levels to prevent rotting.
- Monitor the plants daily to spot any signs of disease or pest attacks.
- Enrich the soil with organic nutrients and ensure sufficient drainage.
- If growing different varieties, provide enough space between plants to prevent limitations in pollination caused by insects.
Harvesting and Unleashing the Heat
When the time comes to harvest the Calabrian chili peppers, if you desire an even spicier flavor, consider withholding water from the plants for 2-3 days. This technique fortifies the peppers’ intensity. Once harvested and washed, you have a plethora of options for utilization: sauces, jams, oils, dried, chopped, powdered, fresh, or frozen. As you work with the peppers, remember that capsaicin is the compound responsible for their spiciness. It is prudent to use protective equipment like masks and gloves and work outdoors if possible. Contrary to popular belief, chilies and capsaicin are anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins and minerals, offering numerous benefits to our bodies.
Explore the Calabrian Chili Plant’s Offerings
The Calabrian chili plant has inspired a range of products that cater to every culinary need. Here are some notable options:
- Calabrian Pepper Seeds
- Calabrian Pepper Plant
- Fresh Calabrian Pepper
- Calabrian Chili Powder
- Dried Calabrian Pepper
- New black version of Calabrian Pepper seeds
To deepen your knowledge of this versatile plant, consider visiting the Ames Farm Center, where you can find further resources and products related to the Calabrian chili plant.
Delve into the world of Calabrian chilies and unleash their fiery charm in your kitchen. Embrace the diverse culinary possibilities they offer and ignite your taste buds with their sensational flavors. The Calabrian chili plant truly embodies the vibrancy and passion of Italian cuisine.