Brisbane Local Food

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I never have much luck with sweet peppers -- aka capsicums. The exception is the 'Perennial Capsicum' whose wee bushes are very generous in my outback.[Image at RIGHT/BELOW of one of my bushes]

At a pinch they are serviceable but not very tasty --but my very real addiction is not to the 'bell' but the gorgeous banana peppers like  Jimmy Nardello or Cubanelle.

I keep trying to grow with those...(Looks glum).

Fortunately I have a market stall in my region that usually sells the Cubanelle and I buy up big and freeze the flesh.

But I have found a new focus, the heritage listed and very rare  Peperoni di Senise. [Pictured BELOW/LEFT]

This one seems to suit my lifestyle -- the way I cook with  peppers, the reliability, the harvest volume and the taste (supposedly).

Few peppers define a regional cuisine as well as Peperone di Senise (a.k.a. the Senise pepper). With its delicious, sweet flavor and little to no heat, the Peperone di Senise is a staple of the rustic cuisine of the Basilicata region of Italy. While it’s used fresh (and simply perfect as a frying pepper), it’s the Senise pepper in dried form (known then as Peperone Crusco) that’s used the most often. Dried, it flavors meats, soups, and stews, along with a wide variety of rustic Italian meals.

So if you are interested, most of the info online is in Italian but here are a couple of useful items in Inglese. At the moment seed supplies are offshore. Needless to say these are a treat myself Xmas pressie.

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Be keen to see how they go. 

I'll  keen to save the seeds...and share them.

Those peppers look plentiful, Dave.  Did you know that you could eat the young leaves of Capsicum frutescens. I have not tried it but believe it is one of the edible leaves.

On one of my shopping trips, I came across a bottle of Srirachi sauce which I thought I would try and boy is it hot.

While I am on the subject, one of my cactus plants are quite edible and I found a video LINK , the cactus appears at  25:49 it is on other videos as well when they fry the stems and it also has edible red berries at fruiting time, called Cissus quadrangularis.  This plant has a few healing properties e.g. broken bones.

In Indian language but you may be able to use it - SITE

I find that info about Cissus quadrangularis fascinating, Christa. I'm always keen on finding edible succulents...and edible succulence (in the case of peppers).

Srirachi sauce is delicious. Ironically, its origin is Vietnamese.


This is the Cubanelle:

Some of my favorite peppers in the garden now are friggitelli, which are the same as the cubanelle peppers I used to grow in California. In California, these were an oddity, but here in Italy, they are in every market during the spring and summer. I like to make mixed salads during the hot weather, and I like to add peppers, but I find that too much bell pepper adds too much heft and sometimes too much liquid to a mixed salad. These cubanelle-style peppers have much thinner walls than bell types, so they add less bulk while still adding the pepper flavor and a nice crunchiness. Of course, the famous Italian friggitelli dishes and friarelle dishes are based around these cooked peppers. I like them cooked, and am particularly fond of the sweet taste of lightly braised or barbecued cubanelle.

And this is the Jimmy Nardello:

A delicious pepper for the kitchen. The plant is very productive and the pepper is one of the sweetest and most palatable to find out. This ancient specie from Italy (Heirloom variant), was introduced in the USA in 1887 by Giuseppe Nardello. The pods colorfrom green to red and can be 20 cm long with a diameter of 2.5 cm. This pepper is very suitable for drying or frying. Also delicious in salads.

Yes the Jimmy Nardello Pepper was recommended by Jerry C-W, and I managed to obtain some seeds but I gave them away to a pepper enthusiast. 

After years of eclectic experimentation I'm keen on focuses my gardening botanicals on the primary kitchen-use species. Among these has to be sweet and chili peppers.

So I have a task ahead of me.

Add tomatoes and herbs -- radishes and spring onions -- favorite squashes -- pole beans, pigeon peas, and the delightful 'spinaches' (like Okinawan) --  so that the rest are relegated to  maybes rather than essentials.

The shop can do better cabbages and carrots than I least for now.

I am thrilled now with my tomato bushes -- grape and Tommy toes climbing up ladders. 'Tis a  garden of Eden thing picking the reds.

As an aside, now that I've started frying the Nopales -- prickly pear paddles -- as I would the peppers -- I'm succulent addicted. The fried paddlles do taste like green peppers.

Great excuse for a Taco any day of the week.

Still persisting. In hope. Planted some more Pepperoni di Senise seeds after a couple took...and have got another niche type underway --  Piment D'Espelette which comes from the Basque country. It is probably a low level chili  -- but a true Basque essential.

"The flavor is somewhat fruity and fresh, with mild hints of heat. You may notice some level of spiciness, as the peppers can range in heat, though nothing that overpowers, as well as a slight smokiness."

I don't want to get into chili lore or snobbery as I'm sure to drown and separate my culinary self  from the fam's taste tolerance. I'm after serviceable and productive sweet peppers that won't turn me into a pariah.

Already I've seriously lost it and get into trouble for making dishes too spicey.

Truth to tell, I'd put sweet peppers -- which you may call 'capsicums' --  into anything. They are the absolute bestest fruit!

But chilis are different...apparently (or so I'm told).

While I respect the amazing hot chili options -- all that Scoville Heat Units thing -- the niche  'chili' that interests my tongue is the  chipotle ...

A  chipotle's heat is similar to that of the Espelette pepper . 

But the chipotle is picked when fully ripe and dried on the bush, then smoked. Although the chili picked can be a morita,jalapeños, serranos or habaneros.

Even as a readily available 'powder' I find the taste awesome. So when a recipe calls for this and that chili (such as in Mexican cuisine)   all I can offer is my own home ferment mix and chipotle powder.


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