When I was deciding/planning what peppers to grow for the 2018 season, I was interested in variations of your “standard” peppers like habanero and jalapeno. The Purple Jalapeno (purchased from Kearley Seeds & Pepper Company) was one of the three variants of that family that I opted to move forward with. It joined your run-of-the-mill jalapeno and the Craig’s Grand in a corner of the overflow plot.

While many of the other plants in the dirt at this location thrived, the Purple Jalapeno plant remained fairly small in stature — perhaps it was crowded out by the Aji Rico and not-Scotch Bonnets nearby. Despite its smaller overall size, the plant bursted with purple flowers early in the season, eventually putting out a decent number of smallish fruit that ripened from a near-black, dark purple to a deep read in color.

Ripe Purple Jalapeno

As you can see above, the individual fruit aren’t all that big, maybe reaching two inches at the longest. Their shape looks pretty standard for a pepper, though not really in the same realm as your standard jalapeno. Once cut open, I could see a decent outer wall, placenta that runs almost the full length and a pile of seeds for a fairly small pod.

The aroma is a bit earthier than your store-bought jalapenos with a light fruitiness and vegetal base. It doesn’t smell overly “fiery” in the least. There’s a distant hint of floral notes that comes and goes.

Ripe Purple Jalapeno

Biting into the pepper provides a solid crunch of the thick skin as a decent fruitiness and light sweetness (like a sweet red pepper) wash over the tongue. I felt like the skin was a bit tougher than most peppers I’ve encountered. The heat level is low-to-mild with a smooth, slow building and even overall mouth burn.

I liked this little plant and its peppers a good deal. They weren’t ideal for stuffing as I like to do with the larger varieties and the skin was a bit leathery to eat fresh on a consistent basis, but using the mild pepper in a marinade where it may soften a bit would be the right way to go. Regardless, this is one I will grow again in the future, but not next season — I have other jalapeno varieties I want to check out.