Last October at our heirloom tomato seedling sale we also had a few varieties of eggplant, herbs and peppers. One of the pepper varieties was the Hawaiian Chili, which has turned out to be a great long term plant to over-summer. We didn’t have many of these so you may be one of the few lucky people to have them in your yard. We are definitely making sure to have lots of them at this years seedling sale because we love the peppers and the plants have done extremely well, even at times when other peppers didn’t.
The seeds came from one of our new favorite sources, the University of Hawaii’s seed program. Discovered last summer, we were happy to find access to many varieties of vegetables perfectly suited to our climate and soil and very importantly, resistant to parasitic nematodes.
The Hawaiian Chili pepper was slow to start, in fact, planted in the Fall, it didn’t begin flowering until late Spring when the weather really warmed up. It seems we are at peak harvesting now in early July. The plants are tall and bushy with pale green foliage and the tiny peppers grow pointing up like little torches. Despite their size they are really hot and dry well for future use. According to the University of Hawaii’s website they are “used in various local food preparations”, although I have not found any specific recipes. We use them for everything from spicing smoothies to stir fries to soups.