The name “Bishop’s Crown Pepper” springs from the atypical shape of the chili, which has a resemblance to a bishop’s cap or bell. For this reason, the plant is also aptly termed bell chili or crown chili. The pods have three sides which run out to round tips similar to a small bell.
In this article, you’ll read about the important features of crown pepper such as Scoville heat level, origin, flavor, uses substitutes, and more.
What is Bishop’s Crown Pepper?
The crown pepper is a medium heat pepper that belongs to Capsicum baccatum species. This pepper is native to Barbados where the chili grows as a cultivar as well as in the wild. It’s a popular chili among foodies for its fruity flavor, bright red color, moderate spiciness, and attractive shape. The pepper has gained a lot of attention and admiration for its unusual shape that resembles a small bell, crown, or miters worn by the Christian Bishops of traditional churches.
The chili pods are thin to medium fleshy and have a diameter of 1.5 inches and a length of 1 inch with three rounded edges bulging out and surrounding the main cavity. Because of its appearance like a crown or bell, this chili is also known in different names such as Christmas bell, balloon pepper, joker’s hat to name a few.
In comparison to other varieties of chili peppers, the bishop crown plant grows very quickly and to a great height. It grows quite tall like a tree but not bushy and widespread like other pepper plants. It can grow up to two meters high and the trunk itself grows about 1.5 meters in length. Within 90 days after planting, the branches will be adorned with large numbers of beautiful-looking bell-shaped chili pods. As they mature, the pods change their color from bright green to shining deep red.
In the Caribbean region and some pockets of South America, fresh bishop crown is easily available in the farmer’s market. If it isn’t available in your neighborhood, thinks of buying its heirloom seeds from online vendors and growing them in your garden. This is an easy chili to grow, especially in moderately hot climatic regions.
Key Facts In A Gist
- Capsicum species: Baccatum
- Origin: Barbados
- Other names: Christmas bell, balloon pepper, joker’s hat, bell pepper
- Harvest season: Summer
- Heat level: 5,000 – 30,000 SHU
- Median heat: 17,500 SHU
- Size: 1 inch in length and 1.5 inches in diameter;
- Shape: miter hat or crown worn by a bishop
- Color: Green, ripens to bright red
- Flavor: Sweet, Fruity
- Use: Culinary
- Popular recipes: Pickle, Salsa, Salads
- Substitutes: Serrano, Yellow Wax Pepper, Bell Pepper
Bishop Crown Scoville
The heat level of a mature crown pepper ranges between 5,000 and 30,000 Scoville heat units. They are classified as medium-hot peppers in the lowest rung of the ladder. Usually, crown chilies do not burn much in the mouth and heat subdues quickly. Obviously, the heat level of the chili will definitely vary according to the location, breed, and growing conditions of the plant.
Heat-wise, Chile de Arbol, Manzano, Serrano, and Yellow Wax Pepper are close friends of crown chili. In comparison to Jalapeno, this pepper is 3 to 1o times hotter. If you aren’t a spicy dude, removing the seeds and inner membrane of the pepper will drastically reduce the heat.
Bishops’ Crown Pepper Flavor
A mild peach-like floral sweetness is going to make you satisfied. The flavor of crown pepper is not so complex in comparison to serrano, yellow wax pepper, and many others. It’s neither too spicy nor bold but has a sweet peppery taste that you won’t get bored with. Most people experience a distinct paprika taste in this chili. I’m sure that you’ll begin to admire the pleasant spiciness blended with fruity sweetness in it. And for the aroma, it is very close to sour paprika.
The moderately spicy and wonderfully fruity-sweet bishop crown chili peppers are a fantastic addition to salads, salsa, and soups. Most people love to enjoy when they are pickled than in cooked dishes. They are comparatively smaller than bell peppers but they have a wide cavity suitable for stuffing. Often, they are turned into chili powder and used as a marinade for a variety of meat and seafood dishes. Dried crown peppers are an excellent substitute for paprika as they both have similar flavors and aroma.
For further reading, find out all facts on Banana Pepper in another article on this blog.