Food Worth Growing: Little Beak Peppers


Continuing in a running theme of hot peppers that aren’t hot, I present to you another exceptional variety, ‘Pimenta Biquinho’ aka Little Beak Peppers. Hailing from Brazil, these funny little peppers are round with a distinctive, tapered point or tail that resembles a birds beak (hence the name).

Like ‘Trinidad Perfume’, another not hot, hot pepper that I favour, this variety is very fragrant and has a deliciously fruity flavour reminiscent of a red Habanero. In fact, all three peppers are of the same species, Capsicum chinense. Be forewarned that this species tends to reach maturity after a long 100+ days and seeds should be started earlier than most peppers to ensure that they make fruit in the first season.

Biquinho Little Beak Pepper

Despite last years cold and wet growing season I was pleasantly surprised when my plant pushed out a burst of fruit in the last two months before frost. Amazingly, they even had a wee bite of heat thanks to growing the plant in a pot rather than in the ground. The few hot peppers I planted in terra firma last year were decimated by slugs and would not have retained much heat had they survived.

I have also seen this plant listed as ‘Iracema Biquinho’, but have been unable to ascertain whether they are the same variety or slightly different. When looking for seed, I suggest looking under both variety names as well as the common.

If you’re looking for a way to preserve your bounty of little beaks, you might try this unusual vinegar preserve that includes cachaça, a sugar cane based liquor from Brazil that is popularly used in a caipirinha cocktail.

Biquinho Little Beak Pepper

The Details:

  • Open-pollinated
  • Grow in full sun in well-draining soil. Allow the top inch of soil to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Requires about 100-120 days to fruit. Start seed very early. I start mine as early as January in zone 5b.
  • Save seed from ripe, unblemished fruit.
  • Fruit starts out light yellowy green and ripens to a bright and shiny scarlet red.
  • Peppers are very small and fragrant with a mild heat and strong, fruity flavour. Thin-skinned with lots of seeds.
  • Container Growing: I recommend a pot that is at least 12″ deep.
  • Overwinter indoors near a bright light source such as a south-facing window. Bring indoors well before the hard frost hits your region.
Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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One thought on “Food Worth Growing: Little Beak Peppers

  1. That is a pretty little pepper. Thnx for photog’s/info. Dreaming of a South American holiday.

    Pepper growing is a huge challenge here in Calgary. Grown in pots, on the sunniest, sheltered decks is the only possible way to grow them outdoors. Seed could likely be planted any time now. There are a few varieties i would like to try. Definitely Padrons again – they did really well. And maybe the Trinidad ones you posted about. I also ordered Shishitos this year to try. Maybe one or two more.

    This crazy cold – online seed ordering seems to be a decent diversion. Already this week Baker Creek, Richters and West Coast. I don’t really need that many seeds.


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