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NuMex Pumpkin Spice Chile Peppers
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NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers are elongated, straight pods, averaging 5 to 6 centimeters in length, and have a conical shape that tapers to a rounded tip on the non-stem end. The skin is smooth, waxy, and taut, ripening from green to deep orange when mature. The flesh is medium-thick, firm, crisp, and juicy, encasing a central cavity filled with round and flat, cream-colored seeds. NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers have a semi-sweet, earthy, and fruity flavor mixed with a moderate level of spice.
NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers are available in the late summer through fall.
NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers are a hybrid variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as NuMex Pumpkin Spice jalapeños, the orange peppers are one of three colorful cultivars developed at New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute from a cross between a permagreen bell pepper and an early jalapeño. The three new varieties became part of the NuMex spice line, which also includes a lemon spice and an orange spice pepper. It is important to note that the names of the peppers are representative of the fruit’s color and spicy nature to appeal to the consumer market, but it has nothing to do with its flavor. NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers average 23,000 SHU on the Scoville scale and are a specialty variety created for home gardening and farmer’s markets.
NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers are high in vitamins C and A and are an excellent source of beta carotene and vitamins B6 and E. They are also a good source of vitamin K, niacin, dietary fiber, and folates, and contain potassium and the minerals phosphorus, copper, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, and zinc.
NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as grilling, roasting, baking, stir-frying, and simmering. The peppers can be used in any recipe calling for jalapeño and will add a slightly fruitier flavor mixed with moderate heat. NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers can be chopped into salsas, blended into hot sauces and marinades, diced into dips and guacamole, or cooked into jelly. The peppers can also be sliced into stews, soups, and chilis, chopped for ceviche, stuffed with cheeses, grains, and meat, mixed into casseroles, sprinkled over pizzas, used as a filling in tamales, or used as a topping over nachos and tacos. In addition to cooked preparations, NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers can be pickled for extended use as a condiment and layered in sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers pair well with cheeses such as cream cheese, feta, swiss, and cheddar, meats such as pork, beef, poultry, and fish, tomatoes, onions, garlic, potatoes, mango, kiwi, pineapple, and cilantro. Fresh peppers will keep up to one week when stored whole and unwashed in a paper bag in the refrigerator. The peppers can also be frozen up to three months.
NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers were developed at the Chile Pepper Institute in part, as a response to consumer desire for more brightly-colored produce. New Mexico State University researchers developed this pepper primarily for farmer’s markets and home garden use in hopes of providing small-scale growers with a way to increase sales. The New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute was created in 1992 and aimed to develop new varieties while educating the public on chile pepper varieties. The institute even has a teaching garden that contains over 150 varieties of chile peppers to allow visitors to experience peppers from the major species and see growing conditions, common pests, shapes, colors, and plant appearances firsthand.
NuMex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers were created at the New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Developed in 1995, it took almost ten years to establish the plant before it was introduced to growers, and the pepper is a result of multiple crossings between permagreen bell peppers and early jalapeño chile peppers. Today Numex Pumpkin Spice chile peppers are available through the Chile Pepper Institute in the United States and through select online seed retailers in the United Kingdom and Germany. They may also be spotted at local farmer’s markets throughout the United States.