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Oranos Chile Peppers
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Oranos chile peppers are curved to straight pods, averaging 12 to 15 centimeters in length and 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter, and have a conical shape that tapers to a rounded point on the non-stem end. The pods are covered in dimples and prominent folds, and the skin is smooth, firm, and glossy, ripening from green to bright orange when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thick, crisp, and aqueous, encasing a central cavity filled with pale green to orange membranes and a few, round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Oranos chile peppers are crunchy and juicy with a mild, sweet flavor.
Oranos chile peppers are available in the summer through fall.
Oranos chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are a hybrid variety of Italian sweet pepper that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. A relatively new variety, Oranos chile peppers were released in 2015, and the name Oranos is believed to have stemmed from the pepper’s bright orange skin. Oranos chile peppers are known for their sweet flavor and crunchy, juicy consistency, and are one of the first sweet peppers to have orange skin, which is unusual as sweet peppers primarily exhibit red skin tones. The peppers are not cultivated commercially and are marketed as a specialty variety for home gardens and small farms.
Oranos chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that can help boost the immune system by fighting against free radicals that can damage the skin. The peppers also contain fiber to help stimulate digestion and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Oranos chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as roasting, frying, sautéing, baking, and stir-frying. The peppers are juicy and crunchy, allowing them to be commonly consumed fresh, out-of-hand, sliced for salads, tossed into pasta, or chopped into salsas. Oranos chile peppers also have thick walls allowing them to be used for stuffing and are packed with cheeses, grains, dips, or meats. In addition to fresh eating and stuffing, sliced Oranos chile peppers can be used for traditional Italian sausage and peppers dishes, added to eggs, lightly stir-fried with other vegetables, or roasted as a savory-sweet side dish. The peppers can also be pickled for extended use and consumed as a condiment. Oranos chile peppers pair well with onions, garlic, capers, herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme, tomatoes, mushrooms, black beans, rice, parmesan, mozzarella, balsamic, and meats such as fish, poultry, and beef. The fresh peppers will keep up to one week when stored unwashed and whole in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Oranos chile peppers were created by Vitalis, a breeding company based in the Netherlands that creates varieties suitable for organic farming. Established in 1994, the breeding program creates peppers that undergo many rigorous tests and field trials before they are released to the market and are selectively bred to earn a reliable, organic reputation. Oranos chile peppers are a favored home garden variety for their early-maturing nature, heavy yields, and resistance to disease. The peppers are also considered a specialty cultivar that is grown for its sweet flavor and crunchy texture, utilized by home chefs in both raw and cooked applications.
Oranos chile peppers were created through a partnership between Vitalis and Enza Zaden in the Netherlands and were first introduced to the market sometime after 2015. Today the peppers are not grown commercially and can be found through small farms at farmer’s markets. The peppers can also be found through online seed catalogs for home garden use in the United States and Europe.