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.
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.
- 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.