Madcap Pepper is a Sweet Keeper

comments (0) August 1st, 2018

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Mad Hatter pepper is an All-America Selections vegetable winner for its unusual shape and sweet floral flavor.Click To Enlarge

Mad Hatter pepper is an All-America Selections vegetable winner for its unusual shape and sweet floral flavor.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

I couldn't wait one more day to try one of the Mad Hatter peppers growing in my patio garden. I've been watching these unusual sweet peppers take their three-sided shape for weeks and just had to give one a try.

Even in its adorable shade of green, this pepper was delicious. It was sweet, crunchy and had just a bit of heat around the seeds. If I can wait a few more weeks, the peppers will ripen to a brilliant red making them even more irresistible. The fruits took 60 days from transplanting to reach this mature green stage; 85 to 90 to turn ripe red.

Mad Hatter, sometimes called Bishop's Crown pepper, is an All-America Selections (AAS) vegetable winner from 2017. I kept the seeds the organization sent me to trial in my container garden this year. I found these peppers easy to get going from seeds and even easier to grow. No wonder this cultivar was selected as a winner.

AAS explains that Mad Hatter is a a member of the Capsicum baccatum pepper species from South America, and these peppers are commonly used in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. 

The peppers are good with Mexican food, too. I sliced my sample and used it as a crisp condiment on a plate of tacos.

Mad Hatter grew to about 48 inches tall in a patio container and needed staking to keep it upright. Right now it's loaded with more funny-shaped green peppers that will soon turn into cute red hats. Perfect toppers for late summer meals.


posted in: All-America Selections, pepper