Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rocoto peppers for 'Seed Week'...

An international student from Peru was too gracious to bring four rocoto peppers for me...
The fruits don't look as fresh as they should be...
Why, for they were hand-carried (smuggled?) all the way from the shores of Lake Titicaca, 3811 meters above sea level (higher than Mt. Fuji) and from approximately the opposite side of the globe from Japan... 

Sliced them open, and woah, seeds are black...
As opposed to the white seeds in the 'regular' bell peppers...
This specimen is the one on the left-most in the top photo...

The second fruit from the left...
Seeds are less black but the flesh, charateristically thick and luscious...
According to wikipedia, the rocoto scores between 50,000 to 250,000 on the Scoville scale, which is quite comparable to the fiery habanero...

The only yellow fruit from the bunch...
Seeds were covered with protective cobweb-like material...
Hmmm, why so different from the other three?

The right-most specimen...
The rocoto has been cultivated in Peru and Bolivia for thousands of years, apparently...
Leaves are supposedly hairly and the rocoto is said to be more resistant to cooler climates than other peppers...
Furthermore, they can grow up to 4 meters over a span of up to 15 years... uwaaaahh...
I read that it is quite difficult to grow rocoto, and I plan to try out the seeds this coming spring season... fingers crossed...

My partner Y stir-fried them very lightly, mixing them with some regular green peppers...
As expected, they did taste quite hot...


The Peruvian student cooked this traditional dish in one of the big cooking events here...
The red ones are rocoto, while the green ones are normal peppers...
He boiled the rocotos to remove the hotness before stuffing in the meat...

The peppers are now ready for the oven...
The taste was very good... urmmm...
As expected, the dish was wiped out within seconds after it was served...

See Malay-Kadazan Girl for more stuff on seeds...