Chilli growing is a substantial and much loved part of Creek well farm life. We grow the little blighters by the thousand, we love them, we can’t get enough to tell you the truth. Grown here in the Fens area on some of the best soil in the UK, these chilies are nurtured until ripe and then hand picked at their peak. Good old fashioned hands on TLC keeps these little hotties in tip top condition.
We’ve been growing for quite a few years and have many a tale to tell. So if you’re new to chilies and want help drop on to the forum and ask away. If you’re an old hand we’d be glad to have your tips, come on and tell us your favourite varieties and how you use them.
A brief chilli history
Archaeologists think that the Peruvians and the Mexicans ate chilli's as early as 7000BC and by 5000BC they were being cultivated. By 2500BC an enormous range of chilli's varying in colour, shape and heat were grown throughout South America. It was even used as a type of currency (if only!)
In 2005 at New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute near Las Cruces, New Mexico, Professor Paul Bosland found Naga Jolokia grown from seed in southern New Mexico to have a Scoville rating of 1,001,304 scoville's, more than twice the rating of the previous record holder the red savina habanero. In February 2007, Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia as the world's hottest chili pepper.The effect of climate on the Scoville rating of Naga Jolokia peppers is dramatic. A 2005 Indian study that compared the percentage availability of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin in Naga Jolokia peppers grown in both Tezpur (Assam) and Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) showed that the heat of the pepper is decreased by over 50% in Gwalior's more arid climate (similar temperatures but less humid, much lower rainfall).
In its green state chilli's are loaded with vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant and boost the immune system. It also contains high levels of vitamin C almost twice as much as citrus fruits. When dried the vitamin A content increases a hundred fold. As it matures and darkens towards its final colour, red, orange, yellow etc the high quantities of vitamin C are replaced with beta carotene and the chilli's heat is at its maximum level. Its low in fat, calories and cholesterol, so if you are diabetic or on a diet your food need not be boring. Add pepper flakes to your food to spice it up or add jalapeno's to your salad; as capsaicin is thought to speed up the metabolic rate you may burn up more calories and lose weight faster.