Chilli has a bit of an issue: It’s just too easy to see it – and market it – as spicy, look for nothing but “the hottest!

In Italy, a new world record was just set for an aspect of chilli that often takes second stage in the marketing: its diversity!

Chilli World Record Exhibit at Viareggio Peperoncino Day 2019
Chilli World Record Exhibit at Viareggio Peperoncino Day 2019. Image copyright Mr PIC®, used with permission.

Italian company Mr.PIC once again, for the eighth time, staged the Peperoncino Day in Viareggio in Tuscany. Organized by Azienda Agricola Carmazzi in collaboration with the city Viareggio, this festival had a special something:

Together with Azienda Agricola Carmazzi as growers, the people from Mr.PIC picked seeds from their Collezione di Peperoncini (chile pepper seed collection) “Biagi-Carmazzi”.

Minuscule selection of the 1133 varieties exhibited
Minuscule selection of the 1133 varieties exhibited at the Chilli World Record Exhibit at Viareggio Peperoncino Day 2019. Image copyright Mr PIC®, used with permission.

This collection, founded by Massimo Biagi (an institution in the world of Capsicum) and continued by Marco Camazzi is said to be the largest in Europe.

My scientific side wonders because other avid growers and collectors of chile pepper seeds and repositories of germplasm (to use the scientific terms for the research institute-associated ones) are not small, either.

That aside, the collection is certainly not small: they cultivated a full 1133 varieties.

For the world record, chilli fruit of all these varieties were presented on nearly 100 m of tables, checked among others by Mario Zamprotta, my co-worker here at the World Chilli Alliance!

Mario Zamprotta of World Chilli Alliance checking the chilli exhibited
Mario Zamprotta of World Chilli Alliance checking the chilli exhibited. Image copyright Mr PIC®, used with permission.

Getting so many varieties of chile peppers cultivated and to have ripe fruit at the same time is not the easiest of tasks. Respect is due for that alone!

Many growers have a larger variety, but the major attention still tends to go only to the superhot varieties.

Even here, at the Peperoncino Day, there was an eating contest at the end of the day; we just seem to like to see people suffer…

Still, I am happy to see a focus put on the diversity, as well. Often as I have said it, I gladly continue to emphasize it: We need more consideration of the diversity of chilli – and of the right use of the right chilli out of that diversity!

Die Meldung/Berichterstattung auf Italienisch kann man hier finden:  https://www.mrpic.it/news/record-del-mondo-per-il-peperoncino-day/139/