In look and flavor, the Fresno pepper is similar to the world’s most popular chili pepper, the jalapeo, however, it can be a little hotter. At its hottest, it has the heat level of mild serrano pepper, which may be too spicy for some.
In fact, the Fresno pepper looks so much like a red jalapeo that it is sometimes mistaken for one. Despite the fact that Fresno peppers mature from green to vivid red and become hotter as they age, they are usually harvested and sold as green.
Green peppers are mild to moderately spicy, while mature red Fresnos are significantly hotter, even hotter than jalapenos. They have a diameter of around one inch and a length of roughly 2-3 inches. The skins of the peppers are bright and smooth, with a slight bend to them.
In 1952, Clarence Brown Hamlin was the first to grow the Fresno pepper. It’s named after Hamlin’s hometown of Fresno, California, where he worked and grew peppers.
In the United States, Fresno chile peppers are extensively grown and utilized in ceviche, salsa, and everyday cooking. Green peppers may be used to flavor a wide range of dishes, whereas red peppers are better for dips and salsas. They’re often eaten with rice and black beans, as well as other simple dishes.
What Do Fresno Peppers Taste Like?
Fresno peppers are hotter than jalapeo peppers, but their flavor profile is fruitier. Some say they’re smokier, but that’s a question of personal preference.
Green Fresno peppers have a more vegetal flavor than mature red Fresno peppers, which get hotter and fruitier as they age. Red Fresno peppers offer a terrific flavor and a bit of heat for spicy meals.
The most visible distinction between a Fresno chili and a jalapeo pepper is the thickness of the pepper walls. Fresnos have thinner walls, which may impact how you cook with them. They’re not as thin as a habanero, but they’re definitely thinner than a standard jalapeo, so bear that in mind while creating dishes.
On the Scoville Heat Unit Scale, Fresno peppers range in heat from 2,500 to 10,000. The jalapeo, for example, has a maximum of 8,000 SHU and an average of 5,000 SHU. These peppers aren’t extremely hot. On the other hand, bell peppers have no SHU.
The Fresno pepper has a few tricks up its sleeve that make it a stand-alone chili. It looks and tastes like a jalapeo, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve that have helped it become a very popular chili in its own right.
It has a little greater kick than a moderate serrano chili, and the Fresno pepper has a fruitier, smokier flavor in its full red form. For foodies looking for something unusual, this is the place to go.
It’s a nice heat setting for everyday cooking, at least for those who don’t mind a little heat. Dehydrate red spices and smash them into powders to make spicy red spices or chili flakes. Spicy sauces can also be made using them.
If you can’t get Fresno peppers in your area, there are a few other options. In terms of heat and flavor, the jalapeo is probably the greatest alternative for Fresno pepper because they are so similar in many aspects.
Cayenne peppers are hotter than other peppers, but their thin walls and comparable flavor profile make them ideal for making hot sauce, salsa, and chili powder.
Where Can You Buy Fresno Peppers?
Fresh ones may be purchased at supermarkets and farmer’s markets all around the country, especially on the west coast. As previously indicated, they can be mislabeled as jalapenos, and it’s tough to tell the difference in the shop.
Online retailers sell Fresno pepper seeds and red Fresno hot sauces, as well as jarred and bottled Fresno-based condiments.
Although the Fresno pepper isn’t as common as the jalapeo, if you stumble across one in its mature red form, it’s well worth tasting. The enhanced spiciness and fruitier flavor may appeal to you.
In fact, if you’re like most people, once you’ve experienced Fresno, you might find it tough to go back to the jalapeo as your go-to chili.
How To Keep Fresno Peppers
These chiles are easy to grow, but they do require hot summer days and cool nights to thrive. You may also grow them from seed, which you can get from a reputable plant nursery near you or online from a number of seed vendors.
The plants grow to be 18″ to 24″ tall and take 60-70 days to harvest. It’s recommended to sow seeds 8-10 weeks before the last estimated frost date if you’re beginning from seed. The tiny seedlings can then be planted.
You can keep these chiles refrigerated for about a week, in a plastic bag. As the chiles mature, they may acquire soft spots and lose their flavor.
Like many other peppers, they keep well in the freezer. By slicing the stem, seeds, and membranes in half lengthwise, the stem, seeds, and membranes may be removed. Place the halves on a baking sheet that may be frozen for later use.
Freeze the peppers until hard, then transfer them to a freezer-safe zipper bag. The bag should be devoid of as much air as possible. In the refrigerator, the peppers should survive at least 6 months.
Recipes That Use Fresno Peppers
Fresno Peppers, like most peppers, can be very versatile when it comes to cooking. Below are just a few of our favorite recipes that incorporate Fresno Peppers in them.
Pickled Fresno Chiles: These spicy and sweet pickles complement fatty foods like sausages and fried chicken, as well as add color and flavor to burgers. Slit the chilies lengthwise and remove the seeds before slicing for a milder pickle.
Fermented Fresno Pepper Hot Sauce: Fermented Fresno pepper hot sauce that’s fierce, delicious, and packed with gut-friendly bacteria! It’s easy to make this spicy sauce. It’s easy to make and goes well with just about anything.
Fresno Pepper Pesto: Fresno Pepper Pesto is a one-of-a-kind pesto that goes well with almost anything as a dip, spread, or sauce.