Monday, July 25, 2011

Chilli Review - C. baccatum "Criolla Sella"

This is a Bolivian baccatum variety producing orangey-gold pods. I got seeds from Fatalii who describe it having a taste which "resembles lemon drop but even better". Naturally I was intrigued. I was also expecting a plant which was basically lemon drop but slightly improved. With that in mind I'll make a few comparisons to lemon drop (reviewed separately here) below. It's actually rather different. First up....

My plant produced a very upright leggy (in a good way) plant. Rather graceful, easy to see pods on and rather different to my sprawling lemon drops.


It was cropping very heavily by late May (seed went in in January).


Pods ripen a deep golden orange which is rather different to lemon drop's acrid yellow. The pods are narrower and longer and more solid as a result (easier to finely slice too).



Taste-wise it is properly hot and brightly flavoured, a very nice cooking chilli. I don't think you get quite the citrussy hit you do from lemon drop but I'd be pretty happy to get one of these if I needed to add a chilli to flavour just about everything. I'll definitely be growing this again. I don't think it will replace lemon drop on my growlist but I'll be happy to find a place for both. If I lived somewhere I was planting out rows of chillis in soil I think alternate plantings of the two would go very well to produce an attractive low hedge with large numbers of similar pods as the two growth habits would seem to suit such a planting.

The only obvious flaw I can find is it was surprisingly hard to germinate. I got a single plant to adulthood from my Fatalii packet. Not sure where I went wrong but others have struggled similarly to germinate this one. The plant that did survive was very strong however.

An excellent plant overall.

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