04 July, 2008

Sunset Brand Long Sweet Peppers

Whenever I'm at the supermarket, I check the markdown bins to see what kind of interesting things I can scoop up on the cheap. Yesterday, I was there buying rolls so we could make sausage subs, and these slightly wrinkled but still quite useable long red sweet peppers were deeply discounted - the regular price was $2.49 a package, but I got them for 40 cents each. Score!

First thing I noticed was the label - Sunset brand, produced in the massive greenhouses of Mastronardi Produce Ltd. of Ontario. The same company that makes the best out-of-season tomatoes I've ever eaten. I'm happy to say that, even though these peppers were a little past their prime, they were completely awesome.

At first glance, these "Ancient Sweets" as Mastronardi calls them don't seem to be your average cubanelle peppers that have been allowed to ripen to red. Cubanelles are a thin-walled pepper and seem a little broader than these. The Ancient Sweets have a succulent thick wall, and were easy to peel after pan roasting. They were also absolutely delicious! Rich ripe pepper flavor, full-bodied and not overly sweet.

After roasting and skinning them I removed the small seed pod from the stem end and cut the peppers into long strips to put in the subs, and they were perfect, with a much better flavor than the common red bell pepper I would have used if these weren't available.

Right now, I'm drying two of the seed pods from the peppers. It's too late in the season to start pepper plants, but next year I plan to start a flat of them and see how many I can get to germinate. I'd like to nurse at least six of them to transplantable size and set them in the garden.


Jenny Ondioline, A/K/A Dina Williams said...

Thanks for the info on these peppers! I just bought a bag and am curious about them. They sound great.

Anonymous said...

Im looking forward to knowing if your seeds are viable or not. I threw the seeds & stems from 6 of them into my garden yesterday..
I agree.. these are the BEST red peppers I think I've ever eaten!
I googled them today to see if I could get a commercial source for seed.. gmta.

Anonymous said...

I saved my seeds last year and started 6 seeds and i now have 3 plants about 3 feet tall loaded with peppers.

Proficuus said...

I bought some of these earlier in the year, it was late for peppers but they grew into 12 plants. I am bringing them inside this year to grown under a light.

Anonymous said...

Discovered these last year and have had a ball stuffing them with sweet sausage and slow roasting them over a low wood fire and topping with a good spaghetti sauce and cheese.

Can't wait to plant these this year.

Anonymous said...

I bought some Ancient Sweet Peppers recently. They are absolutely delicious. I saved some of the seeds. I was just curious to know if your seeds grew true to the Ancient Sweet Peppers.

Dave said...

Yes, the seeds sprouted well and I ended up growing 4 of the plants in 2009. Unfortunately, that was a tough year for my garden and none of my plants did very well, though I did get a few peppers by the end of the season.

I don't blame the seeds, though. Locally, the weather was against us that year and I had probably the worst insect infestations I've ever had to deal with. This year would have been better but alas, I didn't save any seeds this time around.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I were able to raise the seedlings indoors the first of the year. We transplanted about three in the soil. Also planted several in pots out of the direct sun light. We had to put chicken wire around the young plants because the bunnies loved to chew on the leaves. The plants in the pots out of the direct sunlight are producing. The ones in the ground and in the direct sunlight are stunted and dying. Fun to raise but more fun to eat.

Anonymous said...

I grew these peppers this year for the first time. They are the best peppers I've ever eaten.
They grow about 4 feet tall and produce 20 or more on each plant.
I roasted, peeled the skins and canned 30 pints this year.
Saved seed for next year.

Anonymous said...

What is the length of the growing season for these peppers and what conditions do you need in order for them to turn red?