Purple Jalapeño Peppers: Everything About Them

Jalapeño peppers are the classic pepper. They are the pepper that is in everything. Making some guacamole?

Maybe a little Jalapeño will spice it up. Got some nachos? Adding some Jalapeño will help there. Got some pickled Jalapeños? Well, I know something that would go well with it.

They are everywhere in Mexican cuisine, but have you heard of Purple Jalapeños? We don’t really know much about them either, but today, we will look at everything about purple Jalapeños.

Purple Jalapeño Peppers

History

The history of the purple Jalapeño pepper is very much tied to the history of the regular Jalapeño pepper.

It was the pepper of the city of Xalapa, a word from the Nahuatl language used by the Aztec peoples, and it was traditionally cultivated in this city by said people.

The Aztecs made great use of this pepper in a lot of their dishes and had many techniques for cooking it, some of these dishes and techniques are still around today. In fact, you can thank the Aztecs for the invention of chipotle chilies (smoked Jalapeños) and Mole sauce.

These peppers were used for thousands of years before the Spanish conquest of Mexico, which then brought the chili to Spain and its trading partners.

This eventually spread this chili round the world, and it is enjoyed pretty much everywhere now. From this one pepper, many varieties sprang up, including the purple Jalapeño.

Appearance

The purple Jalapeño is a deep, dark purple with a green top. It is slightly smaller than your regular Jalapeño, but a tiny bit wider as well. The purple Jalapeño chilies start off green and as they ripen, they turn their purple color, before eventually turning red.

The plants of the purple Jalapeño are normally ornamental for precisely these color changes. However, the peppers are edible and delicious.

Flavor And Preparation

Due to being half between a green and a red Jalapeño, the flavor of purple Jalapeños mirrors this. They retain the grassy fresh flavor of the green Jalapeños but gain the sweetness of the red peppers.

However, they lose the slight bitterness of the green peppers and are not as hot as the red ones, meaning they fill a nice middle ground that fills the sweet bright craving people have, without having their brains blown out by the spice.

Even though they are 2500 to 8000 Scovilles in heat, they are not overpowering, so just don’t add too many, and you should be fine.

For preparation, use them as you would a normal Jalapeño. As they are not the spiciest, they can go on a lot of different foods, especially Mexican or snack foods. If you want them incorporated into a sauce or a dish, simply cut them finely, otherwise you can chop them roughly and sprinkle on top.

Growth

Jalapeños are not the most difficult pepper to grow. The growing period typically lasts from 70 to 90 days and the plant normally produces 25 to 35 pods, with the plants regrowing the peppers multiple times throughout the growing season after being picked.

However, the climate that Jalapeños prefer is definitely a warmer one with plenty of water to help them grow. As with all chilies, they are not very resistant to frost, so keep them warm at all times.

Also, Jalapeños can be particularly prone to root rot, which can be exacerbated by water, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Final Thoughts

There’s a reason for people’s love of Jalapeños, they are just great. People may want spicier or milder or sweeter or saltier chilies, but not many people have a bad word to say about a good old Jalapeño.

Considering the thousands of years of history, hundreds of recipes, and thousands of restaurants buying them by the boatload, it is not hard to see that our love for them is growing, even if they are purple.

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