Peperone Friariello (Italian Frying Pepper)
These sweet and flavorful frying peppers make such a warming, comforting dish from southern Italy. Tall, bush plants make tons of green fruits that ripen to bright red. Truelove Seeds founder Owen Taylor grows this variety to connect to his southern Italian heritage. Here's what he says:
I learned about this variety from visiting Napoli Pizza last year 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. From comparing with photos online, I seem to have found Friariello di Nocera in a packet mislabeled Friariello di Napoli. This variety is tri-lobed and shorter than the longer, pointier Friariello di Napoli. Nocera happens to be a bit closer than Napoli to the mountainous village my grandmother was from anyways, and it is delicious! YouTube came through, and after watching several Neapolitan chefs make Friariello, I’m hooked. Fry these green sweet, flavorful peppers (whole or chopped) in olive oil with garlic and salt; add cut up tomatoes and then fresh basil and parmesan cheese. That’s it! Enjoy! Mangia!
Days to maturity: 80-90 from transplant
Seeds per pack: 40
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.