Anaheim Chilli variety

Anaheim is perhaps the best chilli variety for BBQ. The history of Anaheim Chili began in New Mexico, where the renowned agronomist Dr. Fabian Garcia cultivated these chilies. Around 1900 he stabilized the “NuMex Variety 9” with its larger chillies. The legendary Anaheim chili variety is descended from it.

A clever farmer, Emilio Ortega, bought the seeds of these new chilies and planted them in fields around the Californian town of Anaheim. The people there quickly became enthusiastic and loved roasting, stuffing and grilling this first-class chili.

BBQ meat and paprika
BBQ meat and paprika

Many of the Anaheimers were German at that time. Bavaria, to be exact. Around 1860 many Germans moved from Rothenburg an der Tauber to California1. Close to the Santa Ana River in the west of the USA they settled, among others Daniel Krämer. The German settlers called it their new “home on the Ana” - and so Anaheim was born.

The fruits of the Anaheim chili are about 20 cm long. They have firm and thick paprika flesh and taste both green and red. Their pungency is mild. Between hardly perceptible up to the degree of sharpness 4 a lot is possible. It depends on the plant and the growing conditions, how hot the fruits finally become. If the plants have little stress due to predators, moisture, neighbouring plants and shocks, their peppers remain mild and tame.

Capsicum annuum🌶

Anaheim Capsicum plants belong to the nightshade family(Solanaceae). These plants also include potatoes and tomatoes. All Capsicum varieties come from Central and South America. Only when the New World was discovered in 1492 did peppers and chilli spread to all warm continents over the next hundred years.

In Germany, chilli arrived relatively late from Spain. The French did not believe in the sharpness, which also demonized the church. So chillies disguised as peppers had to take their way through Hungary to Germany for years. This took a few decades longer. Italians had long since taken chili and pepperoncini into their hot-blooded hearts.

Contrary to what the name “annuum” - in Latin “annually” - initially suggests, Capsicum annuum chili plants are often older than one year. Of course only in warm, frost-free areas or you take care of an opportunity to spend the winter in the home.

Degree of sharpness🌶

Red Anaheim chilli peppers have a degree of sharpness between 1 and 3, which corresponds to 500 - 1,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Red pods tend towards 3, while green and immature Anaheims tend towards 2.

This means that people who are sensitive to sharpness can easily grow this mild variety themselves and later enjoy it full-bodied.

Processing🌶

Fresh Anaheim chillies are extremely delicate. However, not to be compared with roasted chillies. Filled with cream cheese or minced meat at the BBQ a top-notch delicacy from California.

The up to 18 cm long and 8 cm thick chilli peppers are perfect for filling. If you have a gas stove or a flamer, roast the skin until it turns slightly black and blisters. Then place the peppers on a board to cool. Cut the peppers in half and remove their partitions and seeds.

The fillers are cream cheese, potatoes, rice and minced meat. Precook potatoes and rice beforehand. Brown the minced meat with the tomatoes and garlic. Mix the cheese into the filling, it will become heartier and bind better. Fill your peppers with it and put them in the oven at 170 °C for 20 minutes. Another preparation method is to simmer the chilli peppers with tomato sauce in the roaster. Here they are already cooked after 12 minutes.

It is particularly tasty to wrap a bacon coat around the pods. Simply prick firmly with a toothpick. The thick flesh makes it easy for you.

Anaheim chili plant🌶

High-yielding Anaheim plants become quite large and need a little more space. They quickly reach a height of 1.2 meters and more. Their leaves have a healthy green. In summer it carries plenty of peppers, which first shine in a bright green. Only after a longer ripening period do they change colour from green to red.

Cultivation🌶

Chili seeds germinate faster if they lie in lukewarm water for one night. Coconut source tabs have proved particularly effective as a substrate. These are easy to handle and provide an optimal basis for germination. After you have planted the seeds about half a centimetre deep, you go into a room greenhouse. The temperature inside should be about 25°C.

Not below 22 but also not above 28 degrees Celsius. Your seedlings will start hatching after about 10 - 14 days. More knowledge about soaking and planting we have deposited in special contributions.

When about four new leaves have formed, you can transplant your seedlings into larger pots.

Care🌶

Chili plants need a lot of sun, warmth and light soil moisture. Anaheim plants love a loose soil with many nutrients. A good base is tomato soil mixed with perlite. As it needs a lot of space, it is in good hands in the garden from May. As a room or balcony plant, you should give it a larger plant container. In our experience, these should have a volume of at least 10 litres, better 15 litres and more. Read more about the important subject of watering chillies.

Fertilizing🌶

In our chilli breeding we use several different fertilizers. For example, this is because our indoor plants are not supplied with unpleasant smelling organic fertilizers in the home. Outside and especially for chilli varieties with heavy fruits, we like to use natural fertilizers. For Anaheim in particular, a long-term tomato fertilizer has proven to be a good choice. This gives off its nutrients in two phases, the growth and fruit phase.

Another advantage is that we can leave plants in tubs in the house for the winter starting in September. Under artificial light we often harvest fresh chillies until November. In the case of a guano fertilizer, we would perhaps find the smell disturbing.

Harvest🌶

Anaheim Chili you can harvest green, red and at any stage in between. the right time to harvest chili peppers has come when they are no longer getting bigger. To be on the safe side, we cut peppers to inspect their seeds. These chili seeds should look fully developed, even if they are actually not yet germinable. Only seeds from ripe, i.e. red, chilli peppers can germinate after planting.

Anaheim Peppers
Anaheim Peppers

In addition, a taste test is useful. If you taste too much of unripe fruit, slightly acidic and have an unattractive taste, let the chilli peppers hang a little.

This variety takes about 3 months from flowering to ripening. In addition there are 3 - 4 months from the cultivation to the formation of flowers. Since we plant our chillies between Christmas and New Year, we can start harvesting in June. We harvest these on green Anaheim peppers. The reason for this is that there is usually still a lush second harvest, which we then like to let become quite ripe. If the weather plays along, the second wave falls in the pumpkin season.

This Chili is like all New Mexican varieties productive. Especially when you get the chance to harvest a second crop.

Overwinter🌶

You can cut your chillies back to a few stems and, for example, have them wintered in the cellar under fluorescent tubes. Next year they will sprout again. With Capsicum annuum plants this often succeeds with two winters.

We like to let the most magnificent plants grow under LED plant lamps in the kitchen or study from autumn onwards. The purchase costs are not exactly cheap, but the electricity bill remains manageable at the few watts.

You can find a special article on overwintering here. Please take the time to read the section on pest control. Because there are always a few lice or spider mites in the house with the plants from outside. If they spread quickly with the dry heating air, your plant goes flat in no time. Especially with the beautiful Anaheims a bitter loss.

Variety name Anaheim Chili-Paprika
Species Capsicum annuum
Origin USA, California
plant size 80 - 120 cm
Maturing time 95 days
Scoville 500 - 1,500 SHU
Germination duration 10 - 14 days
Germination temperature 25 - 28 °C / 77 - 83 °F
Planting distance min. 50 cm

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