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Chiltepin Pepper - Wild Mexican Chilli's 50g
£ 10.50
The Chiltepin pepper, “chile tepin”, or “Chiltepine”, is a tiny, round or oval shaped, red to orange-red chile, measuring about .8 cm in diameter. It has grown in the wild throughout much of Northern Mexico and Southern United States for generations, and there is much folklore and history involving the plant in the US/Mexico Borderland areas.

It is the only wild native chili pepper in the United States, sometimes referred to as “The Mother of All Peppers”.

Efforts to grow the wild plants on farms have led to the development of the Chile Piquin which is grown commercially in Mexico and Texas.

In fact, Texas named the Chiltepin the state’s “official native pepper” in 1997.

They are also called “bird peppers” because they are eaten and spread by wild birds, or “bird’s eye peppers” because of their size.

History of the Chiltepin

The pepper has been widely used as not only a food, but as a medicine (because of the capsaicin content), for generations, even rising to mythic status. Even today, many locals hold iconic rituals where families come together to harvest wild chiltepins through the mountainous region. You can collect quite a few during the wild harvest.

It is said no home should be without a collection of the dried pods. It is even used as a preservative for meats.

Chiltepin peppers are protected in the US in Coronado National Forest, Big Bend National Park and Organpipe Cactus National Monument.

It has a rich history in the Native American culture and remains highly significant today to not only the people of the Sonoran region, but to the United States. It is definitely worth exploring and enjoying if you’re a chilihead or spicy food lover.

How Hot is the Chiltepin Pepper?

The Chiltepin is quite hot, and in Mexico, the heat of the pepper is considered “arrebatado” which means “rapid” or “violent” because the intense heat is not long lasting, unlike many chili peppers that have a slower and more enduring effect.

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