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Fresno Peppers

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fresno-peppers

Fresno peppers are my favorite fresh pepper. They are fire engine red, and they earn the color. Fresno peppers look a lot like a red jalapeño, but a bit more triangular and less dense. Their flavor is not that different than a red bell, although a bit smokier, and they hold up well to cooking. The heat varies quite a bit, from something you could eat raw if you have a moderate heat tolerance, to something that gives a habanero a run for its money.

To prepare them, cut the top, just above the widest point, without cutting into the seed cluster within, and pull on the stem. Toss the cap and pry out the seed clump if it remained in the pepper. Stick  your knife tip down into the open end of the pepper and rotate it a full turn to knock off any additional seeds and shake the seeds out. Slice the pepper intoyour desired shape. If you get the hang of this you can cut them without ever touching anything spicy. You will learn the importance of this quickly if you rub your eyes.

There is something special about the heat in this pepper. To see what I mean, try placing a liberal coat of fresno pepper slices on your next steak right after you flip it. Serve with a strong red wine. By the time the meal is finished, you should feel like Indiana Jones after he outruns a boulder with an armfull of loot; panting, sweating, and high on life.

2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Jon Suite

    “…something that gives a habanero a run for its money.”

    Seriously. My girlfriend and I are growing these and we just tried an immature one to see what it’s like… I’d read elsewhere on the Interwebs that Fresno’s are just like jalepeños, maybe a little hotter, but I’ve NEVER had a jalepeño come close to the burn that these guys carry. And they’re not even ripe yet.

  2. admin

    Interesting. I wish I could grow them here, but I’m not sure they would make it, even in a greenhouse. In my experience the smaller ones are hotter, as are those later in the season. I’m not sure if it has to do with the maturity of the pepper or something else.

    If you want to tone down the heat, it is mostly located in the white part of the pepper. On the few occasions where I want less heat, like eating them raw, I tend to remove any part of them that isn’t red.

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