chinense Landrace Cuban c. chinense?

It's my understanding that habaneros (Central/South America), Bahamian goats (Bahamas), and scotch bonnets (Jamaica) are all essentially the same pepper that through time and isolation developed different shapes and flavors.

If this is indeed the case, given Cuba's proximity to the general area and isolation due to the embargo, is it reasonable to think that there is probably a fairly unique Cuban variety if c. chinense yet to be discovered (or very poorly known)?

Neither Google or THP searches came up with anything other than cubanelle, which appear to be a mild annum.

I plan to make ropa vieja tomorrow night (will definitely post it up, look for it in BBQ as it will be made on my Weber kettle) with skirt steak, onions, bells, and home grown tomatoes, green poblanos, and Bahamian goats.

So basically the ropa vieja is what got me thinking about Cuban peppers, since I want it to be hot as all hell, and technically, peppers from the Bahamas probably don't belong in a Cuban dish! :)

Also - I'm not 100% sure I'm using the term "landrace" correctly, please don't hesitate to correct me if I'm not. Thanks!
 
Well crap! I thought I was onto something. Thanks for the info fellas.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to find any of these for the ropa vieja, but I'm pretty confident the Bahamian goats will heat it up just fine :)
 
Wicked Mike said:
Damn it, you beat me to it.
Should have known the pepper man from Miami would know know a thing or two about Cuban peppers! By the way, pretty sure your red brainstrain was still the hottest thing I've ever eaten. Maybe not the absolute hottest, but since then I've been working on my heat tolerance and it still kicked my ass more than anything else I've messed with!
 
mpicante said:
Aji Cachucha
Aji de Jardin
Aji Criollo
Aji de Sazonar
Calilla
Robertos Cuban Seasoning
Chay
Aji Guaguao
Arroz con Pollo

Heres a few Cuban varieties
 
Hah! Remember forever and a year ago, when you asked me about Cuban varieties and I was like, "uh...Cubans...don't really like spicy...at all?"
 
They don't, but way to add another half dozen to my wishlist. Which reminds me, I need to plant some more Sadabahar seeds (thanks again for that one).
 
P.S. Finally came by good seed for Aji Cachucha and Aji Guaguao (named for the sound a dog makes when it growls), both by way of a Cuban expat. Aji Cachucha, in particular, is a difficult one to find. The "true" one has no heat whatsoever but has a really good flavor akin to some of the other seasoning peppers of the Caribbean, but just as much sweet as savory. To be totally honest, though, some of the crossed ones I've tried have been as good or better.
 
austin87 said:
Should have known the pepper man from Miami would know know a thing or two about Cuban peppers! By the way, pretty sure your red brainstrain was still the hottest thing I've ever eaten. Maybe not the absolute hottest, but since then I've been working on my heat tolerance and it still kicked my ass more than anything else I've messed with!
 
I can't tell you how much I would love to claim that, but my Red Brainstrains came from seeds I got from Cappy.
mpicante said:
Actually the only chinense of the above mentioned is the Aji Cachucha.The heat is mild.The Aji Jardin c.frutescens is the hottest.
 
This, right here, is my strongest argument for feminism.
 
Mike as always you are spot on about the Cuban's not doing spicy.Seems like the ones Ive discovered are low to mild.The Sadabahar is a very nice variety from India that is still pretty much off radar(rare).Glad you like it.I think its flavor sets it apart from others in the same heat range.
 
Grass Snake said:
Ropa Vieja is one of my favorites. Don't forget to make some Tostones.
I had to look these up. I could probably find plantains around here but my plan was to scoop the ropa vieja onto half a yam... Should be a little sweet with good texture, and ultimately a little healthier than deep fried plantain (yeah, I'm trying to shed a few).
 
I have never come across Cuban food that is wickedly spicy requiring something like a Brainstrain, etc. Is is fair to say that most Cuban peppers are under 200,000 scoville units?
 
saugapepper said:
I have never come across Cuban food that is wickedly spicy requiring something like a Brainstrain, etc. Is is fair to say that most Cuban peppers are under 200,000 scoville units?
You are correct.Of the Cuban varieties I'd say MOST are way lower than Jalapenos.
 
This is an old thread, but I wanted to add some more recent information regarding Cuba and hot peppers. The common wisdom that certain hot peppers don’t originate from Cuba because they aren’t grown currently, or because current Cuban cuisine deemphasizes spice, is outdated.

We know that, before colonization, the island grew a wide variety of annuum, chinense, and frutescens. As recently as 1836, the datil is listed in a regional Cuban dictionary under the agi section: “the aroma is strong and arousing,” and it “is among the most used.” That’s a pretty spicy pepper to be popular on an island everyone knows doesn’t like spice!

The datil was still grown in Cuba on a large scale in the 1880s, when St Augustinian jelly maker Esteban Valls famously recorded an order for datil seeds from Cuba.

Now, given that, why do we always say that the habanero is so named only because it was traded through Cuba en route to elsewhere? It certainly found its most ardent cultivators in Yucatan, but Occam’s Razor would suggest it was in fact a Cuban variety which, as Cuban taste for spice diminished post-colonization, became increasingly associated with Yucatan.

I would conclude that the habanero is as much a historic Cuban landrace as it is a current Yucatan landrace.

tl;dr

Habanero (likely) and Datil (certainly) are historic Cuban chinense landraces, but there are probably others waiting to be rediscovered. The current Cuban chinense landraces are typically mild, as discussed.
 
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(Not at all to diminish the “ownership” of those varieties by their current locales. St Augustine and the general Yucatan have every right to be proud of their heritage as current custodians and primary devourers of these storied peppers, and, after all, even the most recent cross or the most venerable landrace owes almost everything to distant ancestral gardeners.)
 
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IPK Gatersleben has 167 capsicum ascensions from Cuba, and only 8 are identified as chinense (1 baccatum, 61 annuum, 69 frutescens, 40 "species").

Another explanation that hails from Yucatán: the h in habanero has to be pronounced very hard because it derives from javanero (compare ahí <> ají). The habanero chile, in fact, comes from the island of Java. Also a simple explanation.
 
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