Peach Ghost Chili Pepper
The Peach Ghost chili pepper is a variety of the red ghost pepper that ripens to a peach color. The pods are long and can reach a length of up to six inches. This pepper turns from green to peach as it ripens and if it becomes orange it is considered overripe. The taste is smooth, with the heat about the same as a regular ghost pepper. It ranks between 400,000 and 1,000,000 in Scoville Heat Units.
But, how does it taste? Well, the Peach Ghost is brutally HOT! The peach variety is not quite as sweet as the red, but it still packs the heat. It has a floral, but somewhat sweet flavor. And then, there’s the burst of heat that feels as if it may last forever.
History of the Peach Ghost Chili Pepper
The Peach Ghost chili pepper is a cross between two other peppers, the Bhut Jolokia, or regular Ghost pepper and the Trinidad Scorpion pepper. An American farmer from Eastern Pennsylvania named Jay Weaver is known for coming up with this genetic cross. In honor of its developer, it is often called, ”Jay’s Pepper.” The pepper looks more like a Ghost pepper, but the seeds look rippled and are similar to Trinidad Scorpion seeds.
How to use the Peach Ghost Chili Pepper
There are so many ways to use the Peach Ghost Bhut Jolokia pepper. One of the favored ways is an ingredient in hot sauce. It provides some heat, sure, but it is also loaded with flavor. Rumor has it a commercial pizza company is using it for their spicy hot pizza sauce. Because it provides just a little sweetness, it’s great used with hot fruit mashes, jams and jellies. For those who enjoy the Caribbean cuisine, the Peach Ghost makes a flavorful Jerk Sauce.
Cultivating Peach Ghost Chilies
In most areas, it’s best to plant Peach Ghost chili peppers indoors about 10 to 14 weeks before the last expected frost in your area. These plants need about five months of hot weather to succeed. They do not do well when the temperature dips below 70 degrees F. When transplanting them outside, put them in the part of the garden that gets the most sunlight during the day. It is possible to grow Peach Ghost peppers indoors under ideal conditions. Usually, they requires a separate room equipped with grow lights, proper temperature, and high humidity. The best soil for Peach Ghost peppers is a light and well-draining soil. Peat-based soils are some of the best.
The first obstacle you may face is seed germination. It’s better to sow the seeds indoors to get them started. Start by soaking the seeds in water overnight, then sow one seed in each of the seedling compartments. These seeds and soil will need constant bottom heat. Place the tray on a warm surface or use a source of heat like a heating pad. The soil needs to maintain a temperature between 80 and 90 degrees F to ensure proper germination. The soil should be moist, but not too wet to allow the seeds to germinate. Until you see the first sprouts, keep them out of direct sunlight. Covering the tray with plastic can help keep it moist. Usually, germination occurs between seven and 21 days, but it can take as long as 40 days.
Once the seedlings have leaves they can be carefully replanted into 4-inch pots. Do not place the plants outdoors until day and night temps remain above 70 degrees. Slowly introduce the seedlings to the outdoor environment by placing them outside for a couple hours at a time. Each day you can add a little more time. Do this for 10 days, then on the 10th day, leave them outside overnight. You may then plant them outdoors. Be careful to keep the roots moist during the transplanting process. Plant your seedlings 24 to 36 inches apart. Water them regularly and try to keep the soil moist but not wet. Ghost peppers benefit from regular feeding with organic fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, or you may use a compost tea. Avoid using fertilizer high in nitrogen as this will produce beautiful, lush foliage, but not many berries.
Once the pepper berries transition from green to peach, they are ready to harvest. Please remember to wear gloves when handling hot peppers and avoid any contact with the eyes, skin, orifices, or face. You can pick them from the vine. Eat them fresh or dry them for later.