Chiltepin Pepper Review

January 17, 2023 | Article Topics:

The Chiltepin is a native variety to the southwest U.S. region – along the border of Mexico. The bushy plant produces a pile of fiery pea-sized peppers. The pepper is so revered in that area that it is protected within a handful of national parks that allow it to grow wild. I think that’s awesome. Almost as awesome and walking by the plant in your garden and grabbing a handful to enjoy while working outside.

Chiltepin peppers

I typically keep track of the quantity of ripe fruit that I collect with each harvest, but with the Chiltepin I stopped keeping track after picking over 315 during the season. The plant is incredibly prolific. The ripe fruit just about fall off the branches when it’s time to pick. The interior houses a good bit of placenta and is absolutely packed with seeds – which thankfully do not impact the flavor too much.

Chiltepin peppers

The peppers are so small, that it’s tough to pick up much of an aroma unless you cut into a handful of them. At which point there’s a light fruitiness and a touch of grassiness persists. They smell inviting. Chewing through the thin skin presents a light smokiness, fruity notes and light grass. If you keep the seeds in tact, they deliver a complimentary woodiness to the affair.

The heat arrives almost immediately with a solid tongue burn. It peaks quickly to a low-habanero level with a latent stinging character that seems to focus on the tip of the tongue. Eventually, the burn and sting spreads to the throat with each swallow. These little pods deliver a good burn that lasts a decent while.

The Chiltepin is not only a historically important pepper to the United States, but it’s also a damn fun one to grow. Much like the Aji Charapita, it’s a time consuming harvest, but rewarding when all is said and done. These little red fruit would make a nice addition to any hot sauce or salsa. They will certainly make another appearance in my garden in a future growing season.