Crunch Orange Sweet Pepper

By Will Thompson on March 18, 2010

Images and description are courtesy of Will Thompson, the breeder of Crunch Orange Sweet Pepper.

This is a sweet pepper I've been breeding a number of years (6th generation/5th generation offspring). There's nothing super-special about it. It's just good for what it is and honestly, there's not a lot out there this size with this quality of sweetness that you can grow from seed. I've selected out certain traits I like over the years and this is the end result (so far). The pepper is a cross between a plant grown from the seed of a medium-length/thin-walled orange frying pepper from Trader Joe's supermarket (female flower) and a friend's 3"-ish thick blocky/blunt-tipped "Romanian sweet pepper" (male pollen). Yes, I know that's a weird start for crossing material, but it's not like it required a lot of money or labor investment to do it. My only real expense was the garden space growing more peppers than I needed...especially in the first few selection generations where things were very variable. General Qualities: very vigorous growth and fruit set, fruit 2.5"-3.5" long x 1"-1.5" wide, mostly two and three lobed fruits on the same plant, deep orange ripe color, dense/medium-thick walls (appx. 1/5"-1/4"), very small seed cap, very few seeds, noticeable sweetness, fruity fruity (mild apple/citrus), no heat. 

I selected for many traits, but taste was #1. The "fruity" characteristic was weighed more than the sweetness, though it's still a very sweet pepper. The fruity taste isn't overbearing, but it adds an extra bit of character to the sweetness.

The motivation behind this whole thing is living in an area where specialty sweet peppers are very expensive and you pay $1-$2 for a ripe bell pepper in-season. I like using sweet peppers for cooking and salads (light use in both), but I don't really need a whole bell pepper most of the time. I end up using a single bell for 2-3+ dishes and hope I use it all before it loses it's quality. I wanted a smaller thick-ish walled small pepper who's flavor went beyond simply sweet (too many bells these days taste like pepper-flavored sugar water, imo).

I started playing with pepper breeding and at one time had 3 experiments going (I abandoned 1 after the 1st cross and 1 other only lasted 2 grow-outs before it was deemed a dead end because of lack of plant vigor).

The one I've stuck to the longest has had nice results on whole. It could use some work on the fruit lobe variability thing, but it seems to be very stable in taste and wall thickness. Those are the 2 main characteristics I am aiming for. 3-4" fruits would be nicer than 2.5-3.5" fruits, too. I'll leave it to whomever else wants to grow and keep growing this seed line to select their own lineage from here. This spring I'm reclaiming my garden and only 2 of these are going into my's really all I need.

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 Crunch Orange Sweet Pepper in the left and right photos and in the center photo is Crunch Orange Sweet with assorted Aneheim peppers




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i love your peppers AlohaHoya Aug 7, 2010 6:07 AM 13

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