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Calabrian chilli

The classic and very common zucchini pepper, also known as diavolicchio, clusters of zucchini and soverato pepper, is one of the classic zucchini varieties that is highly appreciated in Italian cuisine. It is moderately spicy with a rating of around 30,000 on the Scoville scale.

This chili is able to make even the simplest recipes delicious and unique thanks to its accessible level of spicy. It is particularly suitable to preserve in oil since it is more fragrant and tasty than other varieties of chili.


The Diavolicchio plant is large, bushy and easy to grow. The leaves are small, and the fruits 2-3 cm, which when ripe turn red. The fruits grow in clusters, differentiating it from other varieties, so many of you know it as the Calabrian chilli in brunches.


If we have acquired the seeds, we can proceed in one of two ways:

  1. Germinate directly into the soil around March-April;
  2. Germinate indoors, around February, in order to have a larger plant by March-April, but this requires taking more precautions such as temperature control!

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

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

If we do not have the time or desire, we can buy 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 germinating the seeds beforehand, the plant is more than twice as large as the ones you buy.

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

  • Chili plants want the sun, put them in a place as sunny as possible;
  • Moisture must be adequate and not excessive or may rot;
  • Check the plants daily, observing them you can notice changes such as the onset of diseases or attacks of parasites;
  • The soil must be enriched with nutrients, with sufficient drainage, abundantly fertilized exclusively with organic material;
  • Space plants if they are of different varieties; when flowers limit the pollination caused by insects.

The following guides could be useful:

Harevesting and use

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

Once harvested and washed, you have different options of use: sauces, jams, oil, dried, chopped, powdered, fresh, frozen...

Remember that capsaicin is the element that gives the fruit its spicy character, so use protective equipment like 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 many benefits for our body.

The following guide may be helpful: How to harvest peppers