From Mild to Wild: A Guide to our Top Chilli Varieties

From Mild to Wild: A Guide to our Top Chilli Varieties

Mick and I LOVE our chillies! Our boys will tell you they used to get a bit watery-eyed from all our chilli recipes. Over the years, we've also travelled quite a bit to Peru and fallen in love with their use of chillies. Seeing as our chillies look so good right now, we thought we'd put together a summary of some of our top varieties. Mick also made a Chilli Variety Tour video which you can watch below.

Our nursery has over 20 different chilli varieties, ranging from sweet and mild to some of the hottest of the hot. I've kept it simple and divided the chillies into "mild, medium and hot". Whether you love your chillies or just starting to explore the world of peppers, our selection has something for everyone. So grab your gardening gloves and get ready to enjoy some of these fierce and flavourful fruits!

Fun Fact: All chillies can be used whether they're green or red. Green are generally a bit more vegetable-flavoured, while red are generally more fruity and sweet. 

Mild Varieties 🌶️

  • Aji Panca: This Peruvian chilli has a mild heat and a fruity, berry-like flavour. It's commonly used in Peruvian cuisine, particularly in stews and sauces. Ripens to brown/red. 

  • Bell Lantern: These small, bell-shaped chillies have a mild, sweet flavour and a crisp texture. They're often used in salads, stir-fries, and pickling. Not much spicier can capsicum.

bell lantern chilli
Bell Lantern Chilli

Medium Varieties 🌶️🌶️

  • Aji Amarillo: A popular chilli in Peruvian cuisine, aji amarillo has a fruity, slightly sweet flavour and a medium heat. It's often used in sauces and marinades for meats and seafood. Ripens to orange/red. 

  • Long Red: These slim, elongated chillies have a medium heat and a smoky, slightly sweet flavour. They're often used in stir-fries, soups, and sauces. They ripen to red and bear very well. 

  • Purple Tiger: With a medium heat and a sweet, tangy flavour, these purple chilis are great for adding colour to dishes. They're often used in salsas, sauces, and pickling.

  • Black Pearl: These small, shiny black chillies have a medium heat and a smoky, earthy flavour. They're great for adding depth of flavour to sauces, marinades, and rubs.

  • Aji Omnicolour: With a medium heat and a fruity, tangy flavour, these colourful chillies are a great addition to salads, salsas, and sauces. This bears fruit very well. 

  • Firecracker: These small, bright red chillies have a medium heat and a fruity, slightly smoky flavour. They're great for adding a kick to marinades, rubs, and sauces. Very compact bush. 

  • Rainbow: These colourful chillies have a medium heat and a fruity, tangy flavour. They're often used in salsas, stir-fries, and marinades.

  • Jalapeños: A popular chilli in Mexican cuisine, jalapenos have a medium heat and a bright, slightly sweet flavour. They add a kick to salsas, guacamole, and nachos. They can also be smoked and dried, and are then known as "chipotle". 

Chilli Firecracker

Medium-Hot Varieties 🌶️🌶️🌶️

  • Cayenne: These thin, red chillies have medium-hot heat and a slightly nutty flavour. They're often used in hot sauces, marinades, and dry rubs. Also known for its medicinal uses. 

  • Serrano: With a medium-hot heat and a bright, fresh flavour, serrano chillies are a great addition to salsas, guacamole, and stir-fries. Generally used green. 

Hot Varieties 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

  • Tepin: Often considered the source of all chilli varieties, these tiny, wild, round chillies have a hot, smoky flavour that's great for adding heat to salsas, sauces, and marinades.

  • Rocoto: A popular chilli in Peruvian cuisine, rocoto has a hot, fruity flavour and thick flesh, making it great for stuffing and roasting. We've had a delicious dish from the Arequipa region called "Rocoto Relleno". Rocoto relleno is a traditional Peruvian dish made with rocoto chillies stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onions, garlic, and other spices. The stuffed chillies are then topped with cheese and baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Yummo! 

  • Birdseye: Birdseye chillies have a hot, bright flavour and a thin flesh that makes them great for adding heat to curries, stir-fries, and soups. Very popular in Africa.

  • Thai Chilli: These small, thin chillies have a hot, fruity flavour that's great for adding heat to Thai curries, soups, and stir-fries.

  • Aji Limon: With a hot, citrusy flavour and a bright yellow colour, aji limon is a popular chilli in South American cuisine. It's often used in ceviche, salsas, and marinades.

  • Habanero: These small, lantern-shaped chillies have a hot, fruity flavour and a distinctive floral aroma. They add heat to hot sauces, marinades, and rubs. You can a bunch of different colours of Habanero chillies. Really nice in a mango salsa!

aji limon

Aji Limon

Extremely Hot Varieties 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

  • Naga / Bhut Jolokia: This extremely hot chilli pepper originated in Northeastern India and was recognized as the world's hottest until 2011. With a heat level of over 1 million Scoville units, it's commonly used in Indian cuisine to add intense heat to curries and chutneys. The Bhut Jolokia is also used in hot sauces, marinades, and rubs, but be warned - it's not for the faint of heart!

naga chilli

Naga / Bhut Jolokia

Love your chillies?

Don't these chillies just look gorgeous!? Our mouths were watering while filming. Whether you like mild or super hot chillies, we hope you enjoyed this blog. Feel free to save this blog as a reference for if you every get some chilli plants of your own. You can find our full collection of chillies here.