EFN/ROUGHWOOD EXCLUSIVE. 'Haskorea' pepper seeds were originally collected in 1999 at the Bab al-Faraj seed market in the Syrian city of Aleppo by a USDA scientist and an official with Syria's Atomic Energy Commission. Those were very different days. The seed market and most of the city have since been destroyed by the vicious war still raging between the Syrian government and its Russian allies against various rebel and extremist groups. The idea of a US government scientist and a Syrian nuclear official strolling through a market together is now ludicrous. Once Syria's commercial center, Aleppo is now a wasteland. Until the war made it a household name, many people outside Syria only knew of the city for its famous 'Aleppo' peppers. Few outside of Syria have even heard of this pepper, let alone tasted it. 'Haskorea' is smaller and less blocky than 'Aleppo' (which is usually turned into a chili powder), but with a richer, spicier flavor. We are only beginning to explore its culinary potential. It has a revered place in our garden already. We look forward to one day returning seeds of this pepper to citizens of Aleppo in a time of peace. Seeds grown ecologically in Elmer, NJ, by the Experimental Farm Network Cooperative.
GROWING TIPS: Start seeds indoors in March. After danger of frost transplant to garden with 16-20 inches between plants.