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Eros Bell Peppers
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Eros bell peppers are small in size, averaging five centimeters in length and three centimeters in diameter, and are round to oblong in shape with slight tapering towards the non-stem end. The petite peppers ripen from light green to golden yellow-orange with maturity and have smooth, firm, and glossy skin with a green stem and 3-4 lobes. Underneath the skin, the flesh is crisp, juicy, and succulent with a central, hollow cavity filled with a few small, cream-colored seeds. Eros bell peppers are crunchy with a sweet, fruity flavor.
Eros peppers are available year-round, with a peak season in the summer through fall.
Eros bell peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are an early season variety that belongs to the Solanaceae family. Developed by Johnny’s Select Seeds in Maine, Eros bell peppers were selected for their color and other positive characteristics during field trials. Plant breeder Janika Eckert cross-pollinated an old hybrid bell pepper, two varieties of red and yellow mini bell peppers, and a sweet regular-sized bell pepper to develop the petite pepper sold at the market today. Eros bell peppers are often paired with cupid bell peppers in snacking mixes and are most commonly used fresh, favored for their petite size, fruity flavor, and juicy and crunchy texture.
Eros bell peppers contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, and have high levels of vitamins A and E. They also contain high amounts of antioxidants which are beneficial for optimal health.
Eros bell peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as roasting, baking, grilling, and stuffing. The sweet flavor of Eros peppers is well-suited for fresh salads, snacking, slicing and using as a dipping vessel, sliced into coleslaws, or chopped into salsa. The peppers can also be grilled and served with roasted meats, blended into soups, stuffed with cheeses, meats, or grains and baked for appetizers, cooked with eggs, mixed into pasta, or sautéed in stir-fries and rice bowls. In addition to fresh and cooked preparations, Eros bell peppers can be pickled or roasted and canned in wine. They can also be used to make relish or chutney. Eros bell peppers pair well with sausage, bacon, ground beef, poultry, shrimp, fish, onion, pesto, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, garlic, quinoa, rice, black beans, and balsamic vinegar. The peppers will keep up to one week when loosely wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Eros bell peppers were developed by Janika Eckert, a plant breeder at Johnny’s Select Seeds. Ms. Eckert won the All-America Selections (AAS) Breeder’s Cup in 2016 for her part in the development of four AAS-winning varieties, including three pepper varieties. Johnny’s Select Seeds is located in Albion, Maine has been breeding and developing seeds for gardeners and farmers alike since 1973.
Eros bell peppers were first introduced in 2015 by Johnny’s Select Seeds as a colorful companion to the red cupid bell pepper. Eros, along with the successful release of other sweet peppers like the cupid, led the National Garden Bureau to declare 2015 as the “Year of the Sweet Pepper.” Today Eros bell peppers can be found in home gardens, through specialty grocers, and through small farms at local farmer’s markets across the United States.