Big Jim Pepper

The Big Jim pepper, known for being one of the largest chili peppers, offers a mild heat and sweet flavor, making it a favorite among Ohio gardeners for its impressive size and versatile use in culinary dishes.

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Big Jim Pepper

These peppers, celebrated for their impressive size, are among the world’s largest chile peppers. These peppers typically grow to about seven to nine inches in length but can reach up to 14 inches, with the NuMex Big Jim variant known to grow as long as 12 inches and up to three inches wide.

Despite their size, Big Jim peppers are relatively mild, with a Scoville heat range of 2,500 to 3,000 SHU, akin to a very mild jalapeño. They offer a bright, sweet flavor that intensifies as they mature from green to red. Initially, these peppers provide a mild, fresh taste when green, becoming spicier and sweeter as they ripen to red.

The plant itself typically stands about 36 inches tall with dark green leaves and white flowers. Developed in 1975 by Dr. Nakayama at New Mexico State University, in collaboration with Jim Lytle, the pepper is a hybrid of New Mexican chilies and a Peruvian pepper. This blend of New Mexican and Peruvian heritage, grown in Ohio’s versatile climate, allows for an optimal balance of size and flavor, making the Big Jim a popular choice for Ohio gardeners and chefs alike.

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