When I cut open this perfectly ripe California Wonder pepper from my small kitchen garden, I found several pepper-like fruits inside of it.
For the first 49 or so years of my life, bell peppers held no surprises. Even after I’d established my small kitchen garden in rural Pennsylvania, peppers were peppers. But then, last season, I grew and gutted a pepper that was full of surprises… and since then I’ve discovered three or four of these gems.
This Year’s Red Pepper Freak
When I cut open one of the few stunted but well-ripened California Wonders from my kitchen garden a month or so back, I found it packed with what might pass for pepper babies.
Have you ever found these in your peppers? Each is a hollow shape, apparently grown of bell pepper flesh. While the pepper babies are entirely inside the parent pepper, they fall out easily (once you cut the pepper open)—as if not attached to the parent in any way. Of course, these oddly-shaped gems must grow connected in some way, so I imagine a tiny bell pepper umbilical chord that connects each one to the inside of the parent pepper.
Please let me know whether you’ve ever cut open a pregnant pepper. I’m curious to know how common is this little phenomenon.
The pepper freaks shook out of their parent easily as if they weren’t attached in any way. Each seemed to be a small “pepper fruit” having the same texture as the flesh of a typical bell pepper.