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Aug 12, 2011 10:03 PM

I love Fresno chiles!

Just had to say it. I've grown a variety of chiles in the past, but after seeing them used on TV lately, I decided to try planting fresnos. I didn't know they were a variety of jalapeno!! (Is that true?) Anyway perfect heat, sweet, and size for the kitchen.

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  1. Please, please, please tell me where you got your seeds! Or did you plant from established plants? I've looked in all kinds of catalogs and garden stores and didn't find any seeds. Or plants for that matter.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gourmanda

      I bought a plant from here,

      although I don't see it listed.
      Cross Country
      has most plants in season, and
      Tomato Growers Supply
      And Kithengarden
      has most seeds.

      1. re: Shrinkrap

        Thank you! The Tomato Growers site has Anaheim seeds, which I think are the same as Fresno.

        I've bookmarked it and the chile plants site for next year. Thanks again!

        1. re: gourmanda

          Not the same!

          FRESNO - medium; 2 to 3 inches long by 1 to 1.25 inches wide; thick flesh; matures from green to orange to red; upright pods become pendant; green leaves; 18 to 24 inches tall; Early Season; Uses: Fresh Salsas, Prolific; from USA, California; C.annuum.

          ANAHEIM M - mild; Anaheim/New Mex Type; 6 to 8 inches long by 1 to 2 inches wide; medium thick flesh; matures from green to red; pendant pods; green leaves; 18 to 24 inches tall; Mid Season; Uses: Large Stuffing, Roasting, Fried/Stir-Fried, Canning/Processing; from USA, California; C.annuum.

    2. I disremember exactly what Fresnos are like, but Anaheims are part of the New Mexico/ California chile group, not Jalapenos. If you have either ripe fresh or dried chiles, they will generally come up true from those seeds.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oldunc

        That's true, seeds taken from dried store-bought pods usually germinate (except chipotle probably, since they've been smoked). As an experiment this year I tested seeds from all the commercial dried (I say commercial because I also have dried pods of about 60 other varieties that I grew, I know these seeds are viable because they were dried at 95F) pods I had on hand. Cascabel, pequin, ancho, de arbol, puya, japones, and guajillo all germinated. The only variety that did not germinate was New Mexico.

      2. They're not a variety of jalapeño, they are the same species (capsicum annuum) though, so they're fairly closely related. I use them at times in the winter when I don't have access to red jalapeños, and have grown them before, but I would much rather have red jalapeños. Unfortunately for some reason Americans seem to think that jalapeños can only be eaten green. It's a shame because ripe ones have much better flavor than green ones. Grocery store jalapeño in general are pretty awful these days anyway, most of the heat and flavor has been bred out of them. They don't even really look like jalapeños anymore, probably because they've been hybridized with something else.

        6 Replies
        1. re: StringerBell

          What's better about red jalapenos? I agree green ones from the grocery store are a waste. The bigger they are, the worse they seem. I only buy Serranos from the grocery now. Easy to find red ones here.

          1. re: Shrinkrap

            More sweetness, richer flavor, probably a little more heat. A nice red corking jalapeno is hard to beat.

            Serranos are hit and miss here nowadays. A lot of grocery stores sell large, fat, bland, and mild serranos, other times they have the smaller, skinnier, hotter, and darker green ones that are much better. The fat kind sometimes start to ripen to yellow/orange, which never happens on the ones I've grown. I live 5 miles from two different Krogers and one usually sells the big bland ones and the other sells the good kind.

            Last year one grocery store was selling jalapenos that looked like they were crossed with a bell pepper. The shape was halfway between the two (some even had lobes on the bottom) and the heat was pretty much nonexistent. Awful.

            1. re: StringerBell

              "More sweetness, richer flavor, probably a little more heat. A nice red corking jalapeno is hard to beat."

              You mean compared to red fresnos, right? I got "into" fresnos because the jalapenos were a waste, then started growing red fresnos.

              So I should be growing red jalepenos?

              I grow serranos and habeneros, and they do better than the fresnos, but I can't use bushes of them, fresh.

              1. re: Shrinkrap

                I meant in comparison to green jalapenos, sorry I thought that was what you were asking. I just think red jalapenos have a better and stronger flavor than red Fresnos, difficult to say exactly why I suppose, though Fresnos are good too. Heat level and sweetness are about the same. You should definitely try some red jalapenos if you haven't before, there is a significant difference in flavor. Huy Fong Sriracha is made from red jalapenos. I'm not generally much of a fan of green peppers in general, except for roasted New Mexican types. Jalapenos vary very widely in heat, size, flavor, etc. among cultivars though, so you have to get a good one. I like the Biker Billys a lot, flavor and heat are excellent and they're fairly productive.

                My serranos and habaneros are a lot more productive than Fresnos and jalapenos too. One thing that I think is really important with the large, heavy-podded annuums though is to pick the flower buds off when they're small so they concentrate more energy on growing larger before you let them flower. It doesn't make as much difference with chinenses, but having a 6-8 inch tall annuum plant producing big, dense pods early on really puts the brakes on the growth of the plant from my experience, and results in decreased yields later on.