Among the most popular and well known of the New Mexico peppers, the Anaheim pepper is a slightly sweet pepper with just a little pop. A long-time favorite of home cooks and chefs alike, the Anaheim pepper is very versatile and family friendly, even for people who typically don’t like spicy foods. At around 500 to 1,000 Scoville heat units, it has only a slight pop and a mild fruity sweetness that people enjoy.
Also known as the New Mexico Chile and the California Green Chile, they can either be eaten green or red. These large Peppers are very popular in Mexican cuisine and are also the most commonly used peppers for chile rellenos. They are diced and pureed for sauces, soups and casseroles.
The plants are vigorous, bushy, upright plants grow 60 to 75cm (24 to 30in) tall and provide good foliage cover for the fruit. The smooth tapered peppers are 15 to 20cm (6 to 8in) long and 5cm (2in) wide, they are deep green and turnred at full maturity. The plants are resistant to tobacco mosaic virus. They can easily be grown in containers but as it can be laden with a number of heavy peppers the pot may require weighting down to prevent it toppling over.
Maturing in about 75 to 80 days, June through December, Anaheim chilies can be used in cooking at any stage in the maturation process, harvest when they are green and firm for Chile Verde or leave on plant until red for Chile Colorado.
Big enough to be stuffed and roasted like a Poblano, the Anaheim peppers have a medium thick wall and can be charred under a grill or on a barbecue. They can be chopped in salsa or used any recipe calling for a Bell pepper. They are also suitable for freezing or drying.
If heat is not your thing, but you are getting bored of the bell pepper, try moving up this small notch. You may find that a bit of heat is a welcome change.
Storage of Seeds:
Store seeds away from children, sealed in their packaging in a cool, dry, dark place, or in a fridge. Never store them in a freezer as the sudden temperature drop is likely to kill them. Don't leave the seeds in direct sunlight as the heat generated may kill them.
Sowing: Sow from mid February to mid June
The temperature, moisture, and air circulation all play a role in growing plants from seeds. Too little heat, too much moisture, and lack of air circulation will cause poor results. Do not use jiffy peat pots, plugs, or potting soil as the soil becomes too dry or too wet, which can lead to low germination, disease and fungus.
Fill small cells or trays with a good sterile seed compost and sow the seeds on the surface. “Just cover” with a fine sprinkling (3mm) of soil or vermiculite.
Keep the compost moist - don't let the top of the compost dry out (a common cause of germination failure) If you wish, spray the surface with a dilute copper-based fungicide.
Cover the pot or tray with plastic film or place in a heated propagator, south facing window or a warm greenhouse.
The ideal temperature is around 18 to 20°C (65 to 72°F)
When the seedlings have produced their first pair of true leaves they can be potted on into individual 7 to 10cm (3 to 4in) pots. Use good quality potting compost and mix in some organic slow release fertiliser. Pot the chilli on again before it becomes root-bound.
Water the seedlings regularly, but don't let them become waterlogged as this encourages rot. Don't let them dry out as they rarely recover at this stage. Water the soil, not the foliage. Once the plants have established, it is better to water heavy and infrequently, allow the top inch or so to dry out in between watering.
Seedlings should be grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight from late spring to early autumn. Weaker sunlight from autumn to spring is unlikely to do them harm. Once seedlings have put on some growth they need lots of light. Growing them under a grow-light produces excellent stocky plants, as will a warm sunny windowsill. Adult chilli plants need lots of light. However, more than 4 hours or so in hot direct sunlight will dry them out quickly.
Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 2 to 3 weeks before they are moved permanently outside. Plant them into rich moist soil. Flower do not form and fruit will not set if the temperature is much below 17°C (62°F) for most of the day, so wait until June/July for best results with outdoor planting.
After the first flowers appear, feed every 1 or 2 weeks with a half-strength liquid tomato feed. You could also add Seaweed extract to the water once a week.
Pollinating Flowers: (optional)
Chilli plants are self fertile and will generally pollinate themselves. However, if you want to give them a helping hand to ensure that lots of fruit are set indoors, use a cotton wool bud to gently sweep the inside of the flowers, spreading the pollen as you go. The flower's petals will drop off as the green middle part of the flower starts to swell slightly. This is the chilli pepper beginning to grow.
Harvesting: Harvest in 75 to 80 days
Chillies will take a few weeks to develop and a further couple weeks to turn from green to red. Harvest any time after they are fully developed but the longer you leave them on the hotter they will become. Harvest peppers as they mature to encourage new buds to form. Use scissors so you don't damage the plant.
After picking eat fresh or dry the peppers by putting them into a mesh bag, hang the bag up in a dry, airy, but not sunny spot. When they are completely dry, you can make paprika by grinding the peppers. Don't grind the stalks. You can regulate the spiciness of the result by including more or less of the seeds and veins.
The fruit can be used green or ripe, and it can be seeded and frozen for use over the winter, a technique that also preserves its rich flavour much better than drying.
Be careful handling chilli seeds as they can cause a painful burning sensation: Avoid contact with the eyes or any sensitive skin before washing your hands thoroughly.
Anaheim chilis originally came from the New Mexico area. Developed from pasilla chilies, they were known as the Ortega pepper. The seeds were brought to the farmlands surrounding Anaheim, California USA in the early 1900's by farmer Emilio Ortega. The Ortega name is behind the famous Mexican food brand that’s brought lots of tacos, salsas, peppers, and beans to families across the United States.
New Mexican cultivars were developed in the state by Dr. Fabian Garcia, whose major release was the New Mexico No. 9 in 1913. These cultivars are ‘hotter’ than others in order to suit the tastes of New Mexicans in their traditional foods. The hottest cultivars can be as hot as 70,000 Scoville units, indicating large genetic variability.
The chile heat of Anaheim’s typically ranges from 500 to 1,000 on the Scoville scale, however other cultivars grown in New Mexico range from 500 to 10,000 Scoville units.
Native to the Hatch Valley region of New Mexico, where they can be found as 'Hatch Chilies' they were transplanted to Anaheim, California. They are among the most popular and well known of the New Mexico peppers.
Because of the many regions in which it is grown, they can be found with a variety of names, which is petty much the case for most hot peppers.
You’ll also see Anaheim peppers called New Mexico peppers, Magdalena, California Green chili, and in dried form it takes the name Chile Ceco del Norte.
When they ripen to a red colour, their name changes once again. These are often known as California red chilies or chili Colorado.
The name 'Anaheim' is a blend of ‘Ana’, after the nearby Santa Ana River, and ‘heim’, a common German language place name compound originally meaning ‘home’.
The city of Anaheim was founded in 1857 by 50 German-Americans who were residents of San Francisco and whose families had originated in Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria.
After traveling through the state looking for a suitable area to grow grapes, the group decided to purchase a 1,165 acres (4.71 km2) parcel from Juan Pacifico Ontiveros' large Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana in present day Orange County for $2 per acre.
The group formed the Anaheim Vineyard Company. Their new community was originally named Annaheim, meaning "home by the Santa Anna River" in German. The name later was altered to Anaheim. To the Spanish-speaking neighbours, the settlement was known as Campo Alemán, meaning ‘German Field’.
The Disneyland theme park was constructed in Anaheim and opened to the public on July 17, 1955, and has since become one of the world's most visited tourist attractions. The location was formerly 160 acres (0.65 km2) of orange and walnut trees, some of which still remain inside Disneyland property.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 500mg Average Seed Count 65 Seeds Common Name Mild: 500 to 1,000 SHU.
Heritage (USA 1890)
Other Common Names Capsicum. Chili, Chile or Chilli. Hot Pepper Family Solanaceae Genus Capsicum Species chinense Cultivar Anaheim Synonym Hatch Chilies Hardiness Tender Perennial often used as an Annual Fruit 15 to 20cm (6 to 8in) long and 5cm (2in) wide Height 60 to 75cm (24 to 30in) Spread 45cm (18in) Position Grown in good light, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight Soil Rich moist soil. Time to Sow Sow from mid February to mid June Germination Ideal temperatures are 18 to 20°C (65 to 72°F) Time to Harvest 75 to 80 days