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Green Thunder Chile Peppers
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Green Thunder chile peppers are elongated, curved to straight pods, averaging 22 to 25 centimeters in length and 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter, and have a conical shape that tapers to a point on the non-stem end. The skin is semi-smooth, glossy, slightly wrinkled, and waxy with folds and creases, and the pod is initially green, ripening to a dark red when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is moderately thick, crisp, striated, and pale green, encasing a narrow, central cavity filled with membranes and round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Green Thunder chile peppers are juicy and have an earthy, grassy, and mildly bitter flavor with a slow-building, moderate to hot spice level.
Green Thunder chile peppers are available in the summer and fall when cultivated outside in Europe and Asia. When grown in greenhouses, the peppers have year-round availability.
Green Thunder chile peppers, botanically classified Capsicum annuum, are an elongated, hybrid variety that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as Tander chile peppers, Green Thunder chile peppers are an early-ripening cultivar that was designed by a plant-breeding company in the Netherlands for targeted growth in cold winter regions, specifically in Asia. These peppers are especially popular in Russia, where the large plants are highly productive, producing sizeable, drooping pods, and the green peppers are harvested before reaching full maturity. Early harvesting provides a unique version of the pepper as the flavor is slightly bitter, vegetal, and grassy with a crisp and juicy nature. Green Thunder chile peppers are the more common version of the pepper seen in Asian markets and are used in both raw and cooked applications. They are also a popular pepper for commercial exporting, processing, and canning as the pods can withstand transport and exhibit a long shelf life when stored in controlled environments.
Green Thunder chile peppers are a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help boost and protect the immune system. The peppers also contain some potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and fiber.
Green Thunder chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as frying, grilling, roasting, simmering, sautéing, and baking. The hot peppers can be minced into sauces, marinades, or dressings, chopped into salsas, and depending on the flavors, they can be sliced and tossed into salads. In Central Asia, spicy peppers are used in adjika, which is a tomato-based sauce that blends garlic, saffron, coriander, dill, garlic, salt, and peppers to make a rich, hot condiment. The peppers can also be grated and fried into fritters, minced into a filling and wrapped in cabbage rolls, stirred into casseroles, tossed into soups, stews, and chilis, or served with grilled meats. The long size and thick flesh of the peppers makes them a popular variety for stuffing with cheeses, meats, and grains. They can also be pickled or canned for extended use. Green Thunder chile peppers pair well with meats such as poultry, pork, beef, lamb, and fish, eggs, garlic, onions, dill, parsley, tomatoes, celery, carrots, raisins, rice, and sour cream. The fresh peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when stored whole and unwashed in the refrigerator.
Rijk Zwaan, a plant-breeding company, based in the Netherlands, employs over 3,300 employees worldwide to partner with local farms and introduce new varieties of vegetables to the market with improved characteristics. Almost half of the employees of the family-owned company are focused on research and development, and the company is using state-of-the-art technology to better predict seed quality and design varieties with higher yields and resistance to disease. Seeds such as the Green Thunder chile pepper were specifically designed to withstand colder weather and were created for Asian regions with harsh climates. The pepper has seen successful cultivation in regions across the entire continent and is bringing diversity into the limited pepper selection of colder climates.
Green Thunder chile peppers were created by Rijk Zwaan, a plant breeding company in the Netherlands that develops hybrid cultivars for improved growth characteristics and traits. Designed for the Asian market, Green Thunder chile peppers can be grown in greenhouses as well as outside, making them suitable for colder winter climates. The peppers were extensively tested in Russia to be listed on the Russian state register in 2015, gaining approval for cultivation in all regions of Russia. Today Green Thunder chile peppers can be found in home gardens and through small farms in select areas of Eastern Europe and Asia, and the peppers are also highly exported to regions in Asia that do not grow the variety.