I purchased the seeds for the Mini Olive Rocoto from UK grower, Chris Fowler – the originator of the Sugar Rush Peach. This plant was to be one of a small group of Capsicum Pubescens that I had lined up for the 2020 season. As fate would have it, the Mini Olive was the only one to germinate and, man, am I ever glad that it did.

The plant from which these small (1 inch in length, half that in width) olive colored peppers were harvested was grown in a large pot. It wasn’t the biggest or most productive that I had going this year, but the several handfuls of ripe fruit it provided were outstanding.

Mini Olive Rocoto peppers

As you can see above, these little peppers are more than deserving of their name. When fully ripe, they really do look like olives. Inside, however, it does not. There’s a good bit of placenta and seeds squeezed into the tight cavity behind the thick walls. The tell-tale Pubescens black seeds are there, as well.

Mini Olive Rocoto peppers

The aroma is fairly subtle with hints of vegetable, distant fruits. There’s not much else in that realm that would lead one to expect the explosion of flavor to come. The first bite produces a mouth-filling, juicy burst of flavor. The mouthfeel is interesting including the snap of the skin and then a rather soft interior. The flavor is unlike any other pepper I have ever tasted, combining your standard pepper traits with kiwi fruit. It’s hard to explain, but damn, it’s good.

The heat level is mild to moderate depending on the pepper. At its peak the Mini Olive Rocoto is easily manageable, focusing on the tongue and the back of the throat. There is a slow build up to the burn which allows the great flavor to shine for a while before giving way to the heat.

To say that I enjoyed this pepper would be an understatement. I didn’t really end up with as much as I would like in the freezer, but that’s because I was constantly snacking on them right off the plant. The one hot sauce I made with the Olive Rocoto (and pineapple) was one of the best I had produced in a while. These seeds will definitely make another appearance in future pepper seasons.