Cayennetta Peppers are a Blue Ribbon Winner

‘Cayennetta’ is an All-America Selections vegetable winner for 2012 and a blue-ribbon winner for me.

I’d never entered anything in a county fair until this year. And what a year it’s turned out to be.

I entered 5 different produce competitions and came home with 5 blue ribbons. Here’s to beginner’s luck!

At the Denver County Fair, my ‘Cayennetta’ entry of two fire-engine red peppers must have gained the judge’s attention. These were the only red peppers in the category that included large green jalapenos, purple jalapenos, Spanish ‘Padron’ and even a plate of Naga-Bih Jolokia ‘Ghost’ peppers.

‘Cayennetta’ is a new pepper variety and was selected by AAS as a top vegetable for 2012. AAS is a non-profit organization dedicated to testing new garden seed varieties, selecting the very best as “winners” and then introducing them to gardeners to grow in their own gardens.

I started ‘Cayennetta’ from seed in March and transplanted it to a container in my patio garden in early June. In July, it was covered with 3 inch green peppers that turned a brilliant red on the plant. Its dense foliage protected the fruit from sun scorch, so it made a nice ornamental, too.

This pepper is said to be mildly spicy, but the heat of this summer has increased the capsaicin level in the peppers making them taste as hot as they look.


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How exciting! Well done!

We have an expression in Australia for when we have something fancy or worth treasuring (like 5 blue ribbons!) we say….

“That’s going straight to the pool room”

It’s from the movie “The Castle”

You can practice using it for when you visit next year!


Hi Melissa:

I appreciate your nice wishes on my prize-winning produce. Thanks for sending the link to The Castle–and sharing that wonderful expression. We already LOVE it around here. Now all we need is a pool room.



I planted a couple of Cayennetta plants this summer and they are doing quite well in our South Carolina weather. I am interested in knowing your recommendations for drying and storing them as well as what recipes you cook them in.

Burke Crohn

Hi Burke:

Thanks for your question about the Cayennetta peppers–I just dried mine on a screen until they were crunchy-dry. Then I took off the stem and cap and used my electric spice grinder to grind the whole dried pepper into pepper flakes to use on pizza. I also used them fresh…slicing and tossing onto green salads, sauteing them and adding to omelets, chopped and tossed into soup or chili. If you like hot peppers, you can substitute these for recipes that call for bell peppers.

My best advice? Just experiment!


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