Hot Pepper, Sonora Anaheim (Organic)
Capsicum annuum, 75 days green, 90 days red.
Sonora Anaheim pepper is a large, slender, mild chile bred for processing into salsa, canned chile, and taco sauce. If you want to bring in big, heavy yields of mild chiles, this is the variety for you. Straight, smooth, tapered fruit are about 1.5″ – 2” wide at the shoulders and average about 8” long. With their mild flavor, these Anaheim chiles are often roasted and used for chile rellenos. Heat increases a little as fruit ripens to red, but never gets very hot. Sonora Anaheim has been tested at a very low 300-600 Scoville Heat Units and sometimes it is hard to tell if there is any heat at all. Although the flesh is relatively thick, it dries very easily when picked and hung inside the house.
Sonora Anaheim is connected to a long lineage of chile breeding tracing back at least to the New Mexico chile peppers selected by horticulturist Dr. Fabian Garcia in the late 1800’s. Anaheim peppers get their name from the city in Orange County, California where they began to gain a wide appeal with the California food processing industry. They were first brought to Ventura, California in 1894 from New Mexico by Emilio Ortega. After Emilio traveled back to Ventura with chile seeds in tow, he started the first chile roasting and canning operation in California. Growing up in Ventura, Andrew has fond memories of Southern California style taco sauces, including the classics Ortega and La Victoria. He also has fun memories visiting the Ortega Family Adobe in downtown Ventura, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city dating to 1857 and is said to be where roasting Anaheim chiles in California all started. Sonora Anaheim was bred by Peto Seed in the early 1980s from NuMex R Naky stock material to have larger smooth fruit with thicker walls. PVP expired in 2010.
Sow indoors in flats with good potting soil as early as February, but no later than April. Keep warm and well-watered. Up pot seedlings into 4” pots when they have their first two true leaves. Transplant out into the garden after danger of frost has passed, typically late May in western Oregon.
To save seed, wait until fruit is fully ripe. Remove seeds from fruit and dry. Isolate from other pepper varieties of the same species by at least 500 feet.