Vinny’s Neapolitan Friariello (Italian Frying Pepper)
These sweet and flavorful frying peppers make such a warming, comforting dish from southern Italy. Tall, bushy plants make tons of green fruits that ripen to bright red. The fruits grow towards the sky!
Truelove Seeds founder Owen Taylor grows this variety to connect to his southern Italian heritage. Here's what he says:
"I learned about this type of frying pepper from southern Italy when visiting Napoli Pizza while driving home from the farm. My great grandparents immigrated to the US on a ship that left from Napoli (Naples), and so I stopped in to get some ancestral pizza (kind of joking, kind of not). The shop owner suggested I track down Friarielli - I wrote the name on my to-go plate. We have been growing one type for several years, and got a call from a customer named Vinny who said his were better! We gave them a shot, and here they are. They are awesome and we are glad to add them to our collection."
Vinny (Vincent C. Motta) got these from Naples in 1950. His parents grew them back home and he says it has the flavor of Napoli, pumping out 5 lbs of fruit a day. Vinny likes to simply fry them in olive oil with salt. He also likes to make Ciambotta, a hearty Italian summertime vegetable stew:
- Fry these peppers when green and small and put them aside.
- Separately fry eggplants.
- Separately fry potatoes.
- At the end, mix all together and add 4-6 cut-up, chunky tomatoes and a little salt.
Days to maturity: 80-90 from transplant
Seeds per pack: 25
Germination rate: 85% on 12/2/2022
Planting / harvesting notes
Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost and transplant into garden well after the danger of frost. Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater. Transplants should be initially watered in well, and plants will be most productive with regular irrigation and full sun. These abundant plants may have to be staked.
Seed keeping notes
Peppers are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties of the same species by at least 50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. There are several important species of peppers, so check your scientific names! Pepper seeds are ripe when the fruits have turned their final fiery color - in this case, fiery-red. Cut the fruit, scrape out seeds, and lay them out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two. Drying the peppers before seed extraction can slightly lower your germination rates, but works fine for home seed saving as long as the peppers do not rot.