Pepper, Ausilio Thin Skin Italian
- Italian-style thin skin frying pepper
- Red fruits grow to 5 inches long
- Moderate to high heat
- New for 2017 - Heritage Farm Collection Variety
Italian-style thin skin frying pepper. Bell to triangular shaped peppers are 3.5-5 inches long and 1.5-2.5 inches wide. This variety has moderate to high heat.
This Italian family heirloom pepper was donated to Seed Savers Exchange in 2015 by Chad and Michelle Ogle-Riccelli of Des Moines, Iowa. Chad's great-grandparents, Giovanni "John" Ausilio and Rachel P. Scarcello, immigrated from Italy in the early 1900s. Their daughter Theresa continues to grow the pepper, which today is at the center of the family's culinary traditions. It is used for drying, frying, stuffing, canning and making sardas (savory rolls flavored with dried peppers and sardines).
When asked why the family chose to preserve this pepper and save seeds form year to year, Chad says, "As Grandma (Theresa Ausilio Riccelli) would tell you, they are her family seeds. Something that special, you love and pass on for generations to come...These peppers are part of our heritage."
Learn to Grow it
You should start plants indoors 8-12 weeks before the last frost date for transplanting them into the garden. Plant them outdoors 2-4 weeks after your last expected frost.
Plant your seeds 1/4-1/2 in. deep in soil trays or pots. Transfer them to 3-4 in. pots when their true leaves appear. When transplanting, bury seedlings up the stems up to their leaves.
Make sure that your soil is well fertilized as this crop is a heavy feeder and takes a lot of nutrients from the soil. Consider adding compost to the soil the year before you plant.
These plants prefer warm weather and soil so they should be grown when temperatures are over 68 degrees F.