Friggitello, Friariello and Napoleatano Peppers
(Solanaceae capsicum annum )
"Friggitello, Friariello and Napoleatano" sounds like they might be the characters
in a Marx Brothers skit about a law firm. They are, however,
several names of a unique frying pepper grown in southern Italy.
My attempts at due diligence on these plants has made little headway
despite the fact that they are very common in Italy. Several sources
claim that all three names are synonymous. But a reputable seed
company in Pulgia and an international plant database draw
distinctions between Friariello and Frigatello. Friariello is grown
commonly around Bari and may be an older parent strain of Frigatello.
Large Italian seed companies have added to this mess by developing
similar-appearing hybrid strains but they have done little to identify
them as distinct from the heirloom, open-pollinated variety.
I am growing Friggitello and Friariello side-by-side and they appear
to have identical branching structures, leaves and flower/fruit
attitude. The pepper fruits also appear to be identical and both strains have the
longitudinal grooves which the hybrid imitators lack.
F, F and Ns are a multipurpose pepper in the kitchen. When young and
green they make a sweet little frying pepper. To my taste they are quite close to
the famous Spanish frying pepper, Padron, although they Friariellos are
Pictured are Friariello Barese peppers were grown organically in my garden in
the Valley of the Moon.
Seed Source: EuroSelect