Burpee Hot Lemon Pepper

sidhartha0209(KY_6a)October 25, 2012

This is now my personal number one favorite chile pepper in the whole wide world. :)

I ordered three plants from Burpee, put one in a 3 gal pot and the others in the garden. Thanks to what I've learned from the good GardenWeb folks I intend to overwinter all of them and the Habanero and possibly a couple Serranos.

Anyhoo, I'm a ceviche head and these Hot Lemons were made for ceviche (or the other way around); this and straight out of hand with my meal are my favorite ways to devour them; HOWEVER, they're also extremely good in a fermented salsa. They're just all around great peppers.

Question #1: Are Burpee Hot Lemon, Aji Limon, and Aji Limo all the same chile pepper?

Question #2: Will these little beauties freeze well whole? What I mean is will they still be suitable (have some crunch) for ceviche or eating straight out of hand after they're thawed?

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tsheets(5)

I believe that Lemon Drop, Hot Lemon, and Aji Lemon are all the same. I believe there is a Limon variety that is similar, but, c. chinese - not completely sure about that.

If you freeze them, when they thaw out there will be no crunch. Too many cell walls rupture as the moisture freezes/expands.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:00PM
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scorpion_john(6)

my hot lemon, grew from Burpee seeds looked nothing like that. They were shorter, bumpier, and a golden yellow

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:26PM
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rick_in_va(7 VA)

There is definitely a C. baccatum and also a C. chinense. I was having difficulty distinguishing mine last year, and Smokemaster reminded me (quote):

"Baccatums have gold specks on the buds.
Chinense don't.
Chinense also has several buds off the same node.
The gold specks should be the easist way to see what you have growing-Chinense or Baccatum."

He proved to be correct on that score. Mine had gold specks on the flowers. Baccatums are variously called Lemon Drop, Aji Lemon, and Hot Lemon. They are not as hot as the Chinense variety but they have a definitely citrusy, lemony taste.

Chinense variety are also called Lemon Drop. They are shorter and fatter, and I believe they are also called Fatalli (at least they look similar).

My Lemon Drop (C. baccatum)

Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiki page for Lemon Drop

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:38AM
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rick_in_va(7 VA)

P.S. I forgot to say that I agree with Sid - these are a delightful pepper, on my short list of Must Grow Every Year.
They are mushy when frozen but stay crisp if you save them in vinegar. I don't seed them, but make a slice entirely along one side so the vinegar can get inside. Otherwise they bob around on top like a bunch of styrofoam peanuts, and could spoil from the inside.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:47AM
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rick_in_va(7 VA)

Pickled Lemon Drop from 2011

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:59AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

Incredible, chiles are all from one plant! I pruned back the potted plant yesterday evening and brought the limbs in to pick the fruit from; I had no idea there were so many on there, I guess all I was seeing was the yellow ones! Lol...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 5:44AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

Thanks for that link and the info Rick, yes mine are definitely C. baccatum.

Pickled peppers are pretty aren't they? Especially those yellow ones. I do a lot of pickling, but not with vinegar (nothing wrong with vinegar, mind you), I ferment mine. And you're absolutely correct, they do retain that 'crunch' when pickled. Here's some Serranos (along with garlic) I fermented last year. I do intend to ferment some whole Hot Lemons as well as dicing them up into more salsa also.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 6:06AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

What to do with all these green chiles, will they be good to use dried?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 6:08AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

"If you freeze them, when they thaw out there will be no crunch. Too many cell walls rupture as the moisture freezes/expands."

Yea tsheets, deep down inside I already knew that before I asked that dumb question; just wishful thinking on my part. :)

"my hot lemon, grew from Burpee seeds looked nothing like that. They were shorter, bumpier, and a golden yellow"

That's strange. My Hot Lemon looked like Rick's, except my plant was much more vigorous.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 6:22AM
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sandysgardens

I grew aji limo (C. baccatum) from seeds I received in trade from GW memeber, Lottie in Demark. The plant looked very simaler to Ricks picture of his plant and were citrusy and lemony tasting. It became a real favorite of mine. As C. baccatum's are known for handling cooler conditions pretty well, my aji limo kept producing even when we started dipping into the high 30's. I finally had to pull the plug on it. It was a very prolific plant. I will be growing this one next year.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 7:26AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

rick in VA: "Pickled Lemon Drop from 2011"

Rick, what's your recipe? Your vinegar to water ratio?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:22AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Fantastic harvest off that one plant, Sid ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:28AM
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roper2008 (7b)

I grew Lemon Drop last year, but unfortunately did not this year. I will
grow it again in 2013. It was as productive as a serrano.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:14PM
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rick_in_va(7 VA)

I use a very simple recipe because I want to preserve the natural flavor of the pepper. Also I sterilize the jar but do not heat the peppers or liquid because I like to keep them crunchy. The canning authorities advise that your liquid should be at least 3% acidity to prevent botulinum bacteria. Since commercial white vinegar is typically 5% acidity, that computes to 60% vinegar and 40% water.

The easy way is to use a glass measure or graduated pint jar and use 5 oz. water and 10 oz. vinegar per jar. I throw in a tsp. of canning salt just to be sure. (Avoid iodized salt as it makes the peppers turn brown or rusty colored.)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 12:19AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

Excellent. Thank you rick. I used to 'vinegar pickle' green cayennes the same way many years ago, except I poured a boiling solution over the peppers and screwed the lids down tight so that a vacuum seal would be created.

'One part water, two parts vinegar'.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 1:43AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

Rick you inspired me. I pickled (w/vinegar) several jars of peppers and put up about 3 litres tomato pepper relish (lacto fermented) yesterday. My clan is doing homemade gift exchange this Christmas, I figger a little yellow, green, and red in 1/2 pt jars as gifts might fit the occasion.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 7:21AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

"Fantastic harvest off that one plant, Sid ;-)
Josh"

Thanks Josh, but I believe there would have been a lot more yellow peppers had I been diligent to start nipping the blooms sometime in September. Live and learn, on my list to do next year. :)

Photo is what I got from the two lemon peppers from the garden, not near as productive due mainly from the stress from drought.

The container plant became root bound early on and demanded heavy watering every morning, which was no big deal because it sat next to a rain trough that I also water the dogs from every morning. I fed it Miracle Grow for tomatoes.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 7:38AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

sandysgardens:
"I grew aji limo (C. baccatum) from seeds I received in trade from GW memeber, Lottie in Demark. The plant looked very simaler to Ricks picture of his plant and were citrusy and lemony tasting. It became a real favorite of mine. As C. baccatum's are known for handling cooler conditions pretty well, my aji limo kept producing even when we started dipping into the high 30's. I finally had to pull the plug on it. It was a very prolific plant. I will be growing this one next year."

From the link "Variations of Aji - Chili Peppers in Peru":

"Aji Limo normally is a small chili pepper that can be found in different colors like yellow, green, orange, red and purple. Take care, Aji Limo is really hot! It's usually used to season Peru's national dish, the ceviche, or other Peruvian fish and seafood dishes."

I've no doubt that Burpee Hot Lemon pepper and Aji Limo are the same pepper.

Here is a link that might be useful: Variations of Aji - Chili Peppers in Peru

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 8:41AM
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rick_in_va(7 VA)

Way to go Syd! Your pickles look great. I have received some interesting trades from Denmark as well. Europeans seem to be familiar with and commonly cook with peppers that are scarcely on the radar screen over here, like the Aji Blanco Cristal which I received from Denmark, and now grow every year.

The gourmet cooks are definitely not all Franco. See the link below for a great Italian cooking site, with automatic English translation on site. Nice pepper photo gallery too. Erbe rocks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Erbe in Cucina

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:25AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

Hey rick, thanks for the info and the link. You've got my curiosity up, is Aji Blanco Cristal hotter than Hot Lemon? Would you agree with the heat ratings given in the link I've provided?

Here is a link that might be useful: Capsicum Baccatum

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:13AM
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rick_in_va(7 VA)

Yes it looks about right. They are hotter than Lemon.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 3:42PM
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smokemaster_2007

The Burpee Lemon or Hot lemon I grew a few seasons ago was a Chinense.

I like the Baccatum better for taste and pod set.Great powder for rubs etc.

Aji Limo and Aji Rojo are 2 different animals.
Aji Limo Rojo is a really cool pepper - looks taste and productivity.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:27PM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

"The Burpee Lemon or Hot lemon I grew a few seasons ago was a Chinense.
I like the Baccatum better for taste and pod set.Great powder for rubs etc."

I didn't take any photos, but I had decided early on that the blooms on my Burpee Hot Lemons had spots as described for Baccatum. The fruits appear identical to the Baccatum variety. The citrus taste and smell (dehydrating them filled the house with the aroma) are as described for Baccatum. I'm pretty much convinced the plants I have are Baccatum! :-)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:42AM
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sidhartha0209(KY_6a)

Ran accross this article from Mother Earth News, I'm 99.99% certain that what the author is calling Aji Limo is the same as Burpee Hot Lemon. Pg 2 has an interesting salsa recipe w/mango, shallot vinegar, and other stuff.

I've read a review somewhere that BHL is supposedly a superior strain of Lemon Drop that was developed in Ecuador. I think I will order three more plants of this strain from Burpee 2013. It really is an amazing pepper. I just wish it was an earlier producer, which is why I'm going to dabble with Beni Highlands 2013 also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aji Limo

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:52AM
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