When to pick jalapeno peppers
I have already pickled a couple of jars of nice green, young peppers. Now, for whatever reason, I want red peppers. As my peppers get to that stage of maturity, first they develop lines in the skin (looks like cracks but are not), then what I notice is when they get to this stage the pepper is firm or rather hard, when compared to the younger, yet still same diameter of pepper. Questions are: Why are these peppers harder than the ones without lines? Are they still as desirable as those peppers that are more pliable? And by the time they are red, will they have lines and cracks all over the pepper, thus making visually unappealing peppers, if I want to make decorative, gift-canned jars?