Peppers start a creamy white and develop to light green with dark green striations, turning orange with dark brown striations until they finally mature into solid red peppers of flavorful culinary fire. The fish pepper likely originated in the Caribbean and was introduced to the mid-Atlantic region in the 1870s where it gained a foothold as a secret ingredient for creamy seafood sauces in oyster and crab houses. Grown exclusively by black farmers, it fell out of favor in the early 1900s as many of that era began to embrace a more urban lifestyle. This one-of-a-kind pepper would be lost if not for Horace Pippin, a black artist who, during World War I, served with the 369th Infantry known as the “Harlem Hellfighters.” When shot by a sniper, he lost the use of his right arm. Searching for arthritic pain relief, he resorted to an old folk remedy calling for bee stings. Pippin began providing seeds from his far-flung old-time gardening friends to a beekeeper named H. Ralph Weaver. These wonderful and rare varieties became part of Weaver’s private seed collection where it remained until 1995 when his grandson William Woys Weaver released it to the public. Every fish pepper seed sold today can be traced back to that fateful exchange. Now a hit again, the Caribbean flavor and heat are just as much to credit as its truly unique and eye-catching features. Height 24-30”.

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