Very nice indeed!
Let's see those Costa Rican seeds!
OK! Down to the Costa Rican chile scene....
I wish I could say there is a deep, central American love for all things chile, but sadly that isn't really the case. As much as I asked around, each time the conversation came up and I asked why I wasn't seeing more peppers in the markets and in gardens, the answer was always something to the effect of "Tico's don't eat a lot of spicy foods!"
Interesting to say the least! Especially considering that one of the MAIN "condiments" on nearly every table in Costa Rica was something called "Chilero" Simply put, its peppers, carrots, onions, cauliflower, and other random veggies in vinegar. It generally tends to look like this:
This was a quick iphone shot of some in some random soda/cafe but its on nearly everyone's table at home as well. Everyone has their own version on the table.
Which peppers do they have? Mainly three types. As seen here are listed from left to right, as listed on labels in markets:
Aji Dulce, Chile Panameña, Aji Chile
The Dulce (top left) means sweet, and is.
The Panameña (middle bottom) is chinense, sort of like a Caribbean Red
The "Aji Chile" (top right) is baccatum who knows what it's really called. Someone mentioned they are Peruvian.
Now, of course I didn't stop there. I kept looking and asking around. At one of the airbnb's we stayed in I took a walk around the gardens and viola! Found some sickly looking plants amongst the flowers. It stays wet in Costa Rica, especially in the wet season. I imagine thats a main reason for the state of the plants. None the less, I found some that clearly are a homegrown pheno of the Panameña and a version of the Chile Aji as well. Perhaps a cross on that last one. Here there are hidden amongst the gardens.
So...as the trip came to an end, I thought I'd be leaving with only the three main peppers to be found. On the last day of the trip, one of the owners at the airbnb came to us at dinner and handed me a new variety. While it wasn't the freshest, and somewhat starting to dry out, I could still see the unique shape. One he called "Campaña" meaning Bell.
Here is a shot of fresh ones I found after some searching.
So it seems that it wasn't my lack of attention that resulted in coming up short the first trip to Costa Rica. It's just that they really don't have that many varieties that get grown or eaten there.
Either way, these four will be part of my grows from now on and will be featured this coming season for sure!
Hope you guys enjoyed the info and update.
Edited by Pepper-Guru, 16 October 2017 - 05:24 PM.