- In Depth
Name: Piquin, Pequin, Bird Chili
Origin: Tabasco, Mexico
Harvest: Jun - Oct
Character: Intense, fruity, nutty flavor with a bright pop
Pair with: Hot sauces, vinegars, oils, salsas, strawberries, citrus, nuts, cumin, tahini, corn, fish, ceviche,
Piquin is a small, spicy chili that originates from the state of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico. It is intense both in its bright red color and distinct heat landing somewhere between 40-60,000 scoville. Varieties can be found in many neighboring countries as well as wild and is a very popular chili in Mexico and throughout Central America. The chilis have a fruity, complex almost nutty flavor and is such a delight to cook with.
Piquin is also called “Bird Chili” as birds seem to really enjoy the taste of these chilis and are the only dispersers of the seed in the wild since birds are not affected by capsicum the same way as mammals.
Wonderful in hot sauces, pickles, spice mixes or just as a powder if you want that extra fruity kick on your dish.
Our Piquin is sourced together with Omar and is a work in progress to find a small family farm who can supply us with this magnificent chili.
VAT included in the price.
Additional shipping cost at checkout.
Piquin chili is a favourite among many hot sauce lovers. The fruity, sweet flavor combined with that beautiful heat makes for the perfect sauces, marinades and wet rubs. They also go very well with vinegar and other sour elements as the citrusy hints of the pepper come forward.
We use it a lot as a flakes or powder when we want to add heat. Either when cooking or plating. If you have a soup or broth that needs some extra taste just add 2-3 of these little beauties and it will change the whole dynamic.
Piquin grow on small perennial bushes at around 30-60 cm tall but can reach 1-2 meters if left in the wild and live up to 10-15 years without hard frost in the winters. The small, oval fruits usually don’t exceed 2 cm.
The chili is found in the wild from the American southwest down to the Andes. It is cultivated and commercially harvested in Mexico where it commands a high price due its high demand and difficult cultivation as an annual plant. It requires large amount of water when not grown in shady undergrowth and prone for disease. It takes around 200 days from seed germination to harvest.
Often mistaken for chili tepin, pequin is its own variety with unique plant and leave structure. However they go under the same plant genus glabriusculum in the species Capsium annum and are part of the “bird pepper” family that can now be found all over the world.
All chili is native to Central and South America and research suggest that cultivation of this plant is over 8000 years old (Aji Amarillo in Peru). The Inca, Mayan, Aztec and other ancient cultures all cultivated chilis from wild species that then made their way all over the world via the Spanish.