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Calabrian chilli

The classic and very common Calabrian Chilli, also known as diavolicchio, Calabrian Chilli bunches, and Soverato chilli, is one of the varieties of classic Calabrian chillies which is greatly esteemed in Italian cuisine. It is moderately spicy with a grade around 30,000 on the Scoville Scale.

This chilli is able to make even the simplest recipes delicious and unique thanks to its approachable level of spiciness. It's particularly suitable for conserving in oil since it is more fragrant and flavorful than other chilli varieties.

Plant

The Diavolicchio plant is large, bushy and easy to cultivate. The leaves are small, and the fruits 2-3 cm, which when ripened turn red. The fruits grow in bunches, differentiating it from other varieties, which is why many of you know it as the Calabrian Chilli in Bunches.

Cultivation

  • If we have acquired the seeds, we can proceed in one of two ways:
  1. Germinate them directly in the ground around March-April;
  2. Germinate them indoors, around February, so as to have a larger plant towards March-April, but this requires taking more precautions such as controlling the temperature!

With option 1, we just have to put the seeds under a few millimeters of soil and keep the earth moist. while we wait for the plant to grow, it is necessary that the temperature does not fall below 15 degrees at night, otherwise, they take longer to sprout or may die.

With option 2 we have the certainty of safe germination, but as mentioned, it requires much more care. The bud, once born, must be kept near a heat source and have light and a moist base.

If we don't have the time or desire, we can buy the plants in the period from March to June. In this way you buy safe, already started, ready to be transplanted seedlings.

Needless to say, by making the seeds sprout in advance, the plant is more than twice as large as those you buy.

To correctly grow one or more plants, there are simple and basic rules to follow:

  • Chilli plants want the sun, put them in as sunny a spot as possible;
  • The moisture must be right and not excessive or it could rot;
  • Check the plants daily, observing them you can notice changes such as the beginnings of disease or parasite attacks;
  • The soil must be enriched with nutrients, with sufficient drainage, abundantly fertilized exclusively with organic material;
  • Space the plants if they are of different varieties; when they flower limit pollination caused by insects.

The following guides could be useful:

Harvesting and Use

When it is time to harvest, if you want even spicier peppers, leave the plants without water for 2-3 days so as to fortify the peppers.

Once harvested and washed, you have various options for use: sauces, jams, in oil, dried, minced, powder, fresh, frozen...

Remember that capsaicin is the element that gives the fruit its spiciness, so use protective gear such as a mask and gloves, and work outdoors if possible!

Chilli and capsaicin are, contrary to popular belief, anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins and minerals with numerous benefits for our bodies.

The following guide may be useful: How to Harvest Chillies

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