Despite the fact that they’re called super shepherd “chili” peppers, these peppers actually aren’t spicy at all – not even a little bit.
They score a flat zero on Scoville scale (the spiciness scale that measures how hot chili peppers are) so you won’t be using them to add piquancy to your curries and chilies. Their flavor is sweet and slightly fruity. They are also sometimes simply called shepherd peppers.
What Can They Be Used For?
They might not be spicy, but there’s still plenty that you can do with super shepherds. First off, you can use them instead of bell peppers in just about any recipe where bell peppers are called for.
They’re pretty large, growing to around 7 inches in length. This is a fair bit bigger than a bell pepper, so, roughly speaking, 2 bell peppers are equivalent to one super shepherd.
This large size also means that they’re great candidates for stuffing, and in fact one stuffed super shepherd can make a good meal for one person.
Their thick flesh also helps, as it keeps the filling safely within the pepper, instead of letting it spill out. It also means that they do very well when grilled because they’ll keep their shape well while still getting a good char on them.
Don’t limit yourself to these, though. Super shepherds are wonderfully versatile, so you can blend them into sauces, pickle them, fry them, add them into fajitas, risottos, and a thousand other things.
Growing Super Shepherd Chili Peppers
If you’re interested in growing your own super shepherds, the good news is that it’s quite a straightforward process that’s a lot quicker than growing a lot of other common garden fruits and vegetables like tomatoes.
The most important thing to know is that you should wait until the last frost has come and gone before you plant your super shepherds – they’re very tender and can’t stand any cold weather or frost.
They take around 66 days to grow fully, and the peppers will mature from green to reddish brown to deep red over that time.
Weather that’s warm to hot will suit them best, as they need around 6 hours of sunlight per day at least to thrive. 60 °F – 95 °F is the ideal range. Direct summer sunlight will damage them, however, so they’ll need shade in the summer.