Varieties of bell pepper, we wrote an article on how to grow peppers in the garden, now let’s try to give some advice on which variety of peppers should be grown. The pepper, a plant of the Solanaceae family, is known by the scientific name of capsicum and comes in many varieties, so let’s see an overview of these different types trying to understand which are the best peppers to sow and how to choose the seeds.
A premise: on our site by choice we do not talk about hybrid seeds, we like to think that even if selected, the plants produce fruits and then seeds in turn, allowing the ornithologist to replicate his plants over the years and want to be self-sufficient. Also a tip: if you have to choose seeds, always buy organic seeds.
Below you will therefore find a list of what we consider the best pepper cultivars among those we have experienced. You can use the comment format found at the bottom of the article to have your say.
A few quick tips on what to choose
- To stay on the classic: Quadrato di Asti red.
- For growing in pots and on the balcony: Jubilandska pepper.
- To be filled: Red bull horn.
- To make pickled preserves: Lombard cigarette blond pepper.
If you want to know more about how to grow the pepper plant, read this article.
Varieties of bell pepper
In this article, we will not talk about hot peppers, which deserve a separate mention for the fascinating amount of types, shapes, and degrees of spiciness they present, if you are interested you can read the varieties of hot peppers. So here are a number of great sweet pepper varieties to grow.
Asti red square pepper. Variety with a classic square fruit of good size, very thick pulp and excellent flavor, vegetable rich in vitamin C.
Jubilandska pepper. Despite its small size, this pepper is sweet (zero grade according to the Scoville scale), it has an elongated red fruit. This pepper is excellent as a side vegetable, very tasty, perfect for grilling. The plant is dwarf, which is why it lends itself to small gardens and especially to cultivation in pots. It germinates slowly, so don’t be discouraged.
California Wonder. Very productive red-fruited pepper, a very popular variety on the market.
Red bull horn. One of the most productive varieties, with thick pointed (or rather horn-shaped) fruits that reach over 20 cm in length, delicious flavor, resistant plants, and of good size. Perfect for making stuffed peppers.
Asti yellow. Variety of sweet pepper with large fruit and ribbed surface. It peels well after roasting it.
Yellow monster sweet bell pepper. Fruit with square section, elongated and of excellent size, thick pulp. The red Magnum, intense yellow Magnigold.
Jolly Red and Jolly Yellow. Classic varieties of sweet pepper with large fruit.
Friggitello or friariello (Capsicum annuum). Sweet vegetable with a sweetish taste, good size productive plant, ideal to be fried, as suggested by the name of the species. The plant germinates easily and has a medium-early crop cycle. The fruits are also eaten unripe (green color), once ripened they turn bright red and can be dried, they have a cone shape about ten centimeters long. The organic seeds of friggitelli can be found here.
Cubanelle Sweet Pepper Seeds. Fruit vegetable of excellent size and elongated shape. From unripe it appears green to yellow when ripe, due to its size, the ox horn is better in the garden than in pots, it is an ancient variety. Biodynamic and organic seeds can be found by clicking here.
Yellow pepper from Cuneo or Piedmontese Tricorno. Truncated cone shape, not very pointed and with three lobes, it is characterized by being easily digested, moreover the bright skin peels easily after cooking, which is why it is a sought-after vegetable. The seeds of this yellow pepper can be found here.
Peperone Tomato (or Topedo). The flat and ribbed shape together with the red color have baptized this variety of pepper tomato, it is also eaten raw and is very popular to be stuffed.
Lombard cigarette blond pepper. Vigorous plant of good size, the fruit is narrow and long and is great for making pickles. The green color on the peel lightens, turning golden when the vegetable has matured.
Nostrano Mantovano. Light green pepper with a thin pulp, particularly appreciated by those who cook for its delicate taste and its good digestibility.
How do pepper types differ
There are several characteristics that distinguish the types of pepper, the first evident characteristic is the spiciness, which divides the macro families of hot pepper and sweet pepper.
- Spiciness. Peppers contain an alkaloid substance called capsaicin, responsible for the spiciness as it stimulates the sensitivity of the thermoreceptors present in different parts of the human body. Capsaicin is contained in particular in the placenta and in the seeds of the fruit. The degree of spiciness of peppers varies according to the type of pepper and can be measured by evaluating the presence of alkaloids in the fruit. This type of measurement is measured by the Scoville scale, with units being SHU. Sweet peppers measure zero degrees of spiciness and consequently zero Scoville units, while there are chillies up to one million SHU. For convenience, peppers are divided into sweet and spicy, due to the different uses in the kitchen they are considered different vegetables.
- Shape of the fruit. The most cultivated of sweet peppers is certainly the square one, with a flattened tip, but there are peppers with elongated fruit, where the vegetable ends in a cornino-like tip or round peppers as if they were cherry tomatoes. In general, hot peppers have more elongated shapes, like the famous cayenne, but there are also round hot peppers, excellent for stuffed preserves.
- Fruit size. There are peppers with large, fleshy fruit and small peppers, it is not a general rule but often the large fruit is for sweet peppers, while the spicier varieties are found among the little ones.
- Fruit color. The most common color is red but yellow and green peppers are also frequent, there are also variations on orange and peppers that turn black.
- Crop cycle. Not all plants are the same, there are varieties with a short cycle and peppers that take longer to mature, up to those with a tropical climate that to be grown in Italy must be germinated in the heat so that in the summer months the plant is already formed and the fruit ripens properly.