Bull Nose Chile Peppers
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Bull Nose peppers have a size and shape similar to that of a common bell pepper. Modern forms of the pepper have become increasingly elongated when compared to the original short and stout form. Bull Nose peppers have a smooth, thick-walled skin that tapers to multiple lobes, or a “bull nose.” Bull Nose peppers are crunchy and juicy with a sweet flavor that is typically mild and nearly void of heat. This style of pepper is said to be sweeter than the blockier and stout bell peppers commonly found in the United States today. When mature the pepper turns from green to scarlet red, its flavor too becomes sweeter as the pepper reaches its peak of ripeness.
Depending on the growing area, Bull Nose peppers can be available year-round, with a peak season in the summer and early fall.
Bull Nose is an heirloom variety sweet pepper botanically known as Capsicum annuum var. annuum. A rare pepper today the Bull Nose was listed for some time on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, a catalog that promotes foods in danger of extinction working to ensure they remain in production.
Bull Nose peppers are perfect for grilling, roasting and stuffing. The thick and sturdy peppers can be stuffed with cheeses or meats after the top is cut and ribs and seeds are removed. Slice fresh peppers into rings and add to salads or sautéed dishes. This style of pepper also holds up well to frying. In Colonial times the Bull Nose as result of its thick, fleshy rind was a popular pepper for pickling and preserving for consumption in the cold winter months. Bull Nose peppers will keep best when kept refrigerated, away from moisture and consumed within one to two weeks.
The Bulls Nose pepper is mentioned in Amelia Simmons 1796 cookbook, “American Cookery”, a book which is also considered by many to be the original American cookbook.
Bull Nose peppers are believed to be native to India. They were grown and pickled in Panama by enslaved Africans in 1681. The Bull Nose is thought to have made its way to North America via the West Indies in the 1700’s. Commercially they became available in 1863 and were mentioned in Fearing Burr’s book “Field and Garden Vegetables of America”. Bull Nose peppers were also one of the crops grown by American president Thomas Jefferson at his Virginia home of Monticello. The Bull Nose pepper is recorded as grown there as early as 1812 when it was featured in Jefferson’s annual garden calendar. The peppers thrive in warm to hot growing conditions and will be a prolific producer 55-80 days after transplant provided they are given full sun and well-drained soil.
Recipes that include Bull Nose Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Simply Recipes||Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers|
|Seasoned to Taste||Pickled Garlicky Red Peppers|
|Hunter Angler Gardener Cook||Preserved Peppers|