Popular in Spain as a tapas, Padron is a mangetout chilli whose fruit are picked when young and green (preferably 4 to 6cm long); fried in oil; and eaten whole, tender seeds and all (see ‘Additional Information’). At this stage of maturity, most of the fruit will be heatless, though the occasional hot one will make a surprise appearance
It’s a different story for fruit allowed to ripen on the plant. They grow to about 10cm long and turn bright red. All of them develop heat to some extent, and on average they are medium hot. Though the level of pungency is modest, there’s enough to spice up needy dishes such as curries, pickles and chutneys.
Grow the tall plants either in the ground or pots 7.5 to 10 litres in size, and give them support so that they stay upright. Since young fruit are produced quite early, plants might be grown successfully outdoors in sheltered spots down south.
Heat level: medium (8,000 SHU – mature fruit tested)
For more information on heat levels please click here.