This is the first year that I’m growing the Pequin pepper. It was a variety that was high on my list prior to the start of the season and so far, it’t looking like it was a good move on my part. I originally had started 2-3 of the seeds (purchased from Tyler Farms), but only one germinated. And that one plant is producing pods like gangbusters.

Pequin pepper plant

As you can see above, it’s not the biggest plant I’ve got going so far this season, but it’s easily producing twice as many pods as any other. The pods, as you’ll see shortly, are quite small with most maxing out at 3/4 of an inch in length and half that in width. They ripen from green, through a muddy brown and ultimately to a final, bright red. Apparently, birds love the ripe peppers, but I haven’t run into any issues with them as of yet.

Pequin peppers
Pequin pepper with ruler

The rounded cone shape of the fruit doesn’t make them stand out in a crowd by any means, but they are an attractive lookin thing. The interior of the pod is packed with seeds — a surprising amount given their small size. The thin placenta runs the full length of the fruit. And just as unassuming as their appearance is, the aroma is the same. There’s nothing really unique or overly distinguishing about its mix of Serrano and Cayenne scents.

Pequin pepper cut open

The flavor pretty much matches the aroma to a tee. The light smokiness of a Cayenne mingles nicely with the “hot pepper” flavor of your standard Serrano. There’s a light sweetness, but for the most part the fruit is pretty straightforward. I will say, though, that the seeds to impart a touch of bitterness that doesn’t distract too much, but is noticeable once I sampled from a fruit with the seeds removed. The heat level is on par with a Serrano. It’s not overwhelming, but still impressive for a pepper so small. The all around tongue burn lasts a good long while, fading to a lingering warmth after 7-8 minutes.

Due to their size and amount of seeds per pod, I don’t see myself trying to dry or really process any of the Pequin for sauces. I just really like the ability to walk by and snag a fruit or two while outback for a warm little treat. I’m glad that I decided to grow out this plant and I’ll probably do so again next year. Perhaps if I’m able to curb my drive-by snacking and pull in a sizable harvest, I could grind some up for a salsa, but may have to strain out all of those seeds. We’ll see.