As beginner gardeners, we have taken the learn as we go approach.
So it was no surprise that when we finally saw our jalapeno peppers coming in--looking big, smooth, and shiny--we jumped the gun and picked a basket full of them. The Bubbster even cooked them that same evening, making his favorite stuffed jalapenos only to find out that weren't packing any heat.
Have no fear though! We tried again...this time letting them age a couple of days before biting into one.
Alas, it was still lacking the heat.
And if you're the type of person who enjoys mild peppers--ahem...me--then these peppers are great! But if you're the Bubbster, then mild peppers are considered flavorless and made for wimps.
(Which is me. I'm the wimp.)
Not wanting to be quitters, we decided to take another approach. This time we waited longer to pick them. And you know what weird thing happened? A few of the peppers turned red...or grew red. Whatever. Either way, it had us scratching our heads.
But we continued to wait.
And guess what? Our patience paid off.
But do you want to know how we knew? It was actually pretty simple. Once the peppers began getting these white streaks on them...like stretch marks from growing...then we picked them. And they were hotter. That's our trick for knowing. The more streaks there are = hotter pepper. Ha! Who knew.
Okay, a lot of people knew. But I didn't think to ask them so I had to figure it out for myself.
Any way, here are some pictures of the peppers with the streaks on them, so now you can try and see if it works for your peppers.
Sorry for the blurry pictures. It wasn't my best picture taking day with the iphone. ;)