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Ancient Sweets Red Peppers!

written by 25 January 2010 10 Comments

So, it’s Monday morning and you feel that familiar pang of regret. In the rush of weekend activities, you’ve missed the farmer’s market again. You’re looking for that fresh snap of sweet veggie goodness, but all you see at the supermarket is wilted cabbage and moldy strawberries. What to do?

Head on over to Sam’s Club! I’m a big fan of warehouse clubs if your family is large enough to make it worth your while. With my four kids, a club membership is absolutely vital. But, even if you aren’t a member, grab a friend who is or get a day pass because they have Ancient Sweets red peppers!

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Ancient Sweets are distributed by Sunset Produce, who also provides the lovely Campari tomatoes I used in the gazpacho I wrote about last year. Other than the obvious environmental benefits of buying in bulk with minimal packaging, Sunset does follow a sustainability program. Of course, it’s not even close to buying locally grown produce, but if you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, this might be an acceptable alternative for you.

Other than the environmental pros and cons, the peppers themselves are magnificent! They are very sweet and crisp with a size that is just shocking.

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That is a full-sized chef’s knife next to the pepper!

The inside of the pepper has some brown streaks and looks a bit gnarly. DO NOT TRIM IT! It’s still delicious.

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The inconsistencies in the color are due to the fact that it is real food, not a plastic pepper coated in three types of wax and injected with a “pepper-like emulsion.” I used these peppers in fajitas and also ate some raw. They are perfect either way.

Ancient Sweets red peppers are available right now at Sam’s club for $6.42 for two pounds. That’s six GIANT peppers. They aren’t local and they aren’t guilt-free, but they are yummy! If you aren’t a Sam’s Club member, try calling your favorite store and asking if they carry these. It’s very encouraging to see this type of product coming into mass market stores. Vote with your pocketbook! Buy weird vegetables!

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Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Sunset Produce, Ancient Sweets peppers or any other food distributor. This is NOT a paid advertisement. This is just a really good product I want to share!

all photos copyright © 2010 by jodi a. kasten • all rights reserved

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10 Comments »

  • avatar
    alka said:

    Taste yummy grilled.

  • avatar
    Stahrman said:

    They taste fantastic, it's almost like eating a sweet fruit. Amazing!

  • avatar
    fara said:

    I first found these by accident at Sam's a couple of years ago. I am a seed saver, so I did. We grew a couple of bushes of them last year and had buckets upon buckets of them….. grow till they turn red. Amazingly sweet. I think they are best fresh. I pickled some but they just don't hold up to it. They do however make a great sauce/puree that freezes fabulously. Very handy for winter time soups/stews and sauces. ~~fara

  • avatar
    KidLit said:

    I'm saving seeds for next year–glad to know it works!

  • avatar
    Jim Martin said:

    Now that Sam's Club is not carrying them I cannot find anywhere to buy the Ancient sweets. Any suggestions?

  • avatar
    jodikasten (author) said:

    Have patience, Jim. Ancient Sweets are available sporadically year round. Due to the lack of hands-on control of employees, they will tell you that they do not know when they will again appear, but they always have in the past. I have not found them anywhere else, but I have faith that they will return. If you're here in Jax, I got some just two weeks ago at the Sam's on Beach Blvd. Try there and good luck!

  • avatar
    jackie said:

    I bought some today at our local grocery in Kansas-Price Chopper. They are not labeled as organic but I wondered if the Nicaraguan farmers use as many pesticides as others?
    I have eaten a couple and they are good. There are 9 peppers in the bag for $2.50 or could be purchased 3/99 cents.
    Pretty good.

  • avatar
    fran and bob martens said:

    Hi, I hope you may be able to aner our question. Purchased Ancient Sweets at Sam's lst year, then never saw again. Had fortunately saved the seeds. We planted the seeds and they are growing beautifully. We have several on the plant now and shared the seeds with a neighbor. You indicated in your little squib to grow till they turn red. These peppers are more than 4 or 5 inches long now. When do they turn red/?? Appreciate your assist.

  • avatar
    Morris said:

    what strain of pepper is this

  • avatar
    jodikasten (author) said:

    If I had to take a stab in the dark, I'd say they are either a variety of cubanelle (they are not spicy) or a Spanish Mammoth (Doux D'Espagne). This season we took our first shot at growing some from the seeds we got from the peppers we bought at the store. If they really are an heirloom, then they should produce the same fruit. (If they are a hybrid, they could either not produce fruit OR you'll get a mystery fruit from one of the parent varieties.) The plant is healthy, but we're still waiting for a bloom. We've seen online where folks HAVE had luck cultivating them from seed. Here are some instructions for that: http://emmacooper.org/blog/grocery-store-seeds-pe

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