This variety of pepper (Capiscum annuum) was originally from Basilicata, a southern region of Italy. It takes its name from seed saver Jimmy Nardello, who brought the seeds from Italy while immigrating to Connecticut in 1887.
Jimmy Nardellos’ start out green and then mature first to streaked brown and burgundy, then finally that glorious, fire-engine red. They are tasty for fresh use at any stage but certainly sweetest once fully mature.
This sweet pepper matures in 80-90 days from transplant, its fruits are 6-9 inches long and the plants can reach 23 inches tall.
The Jimmy Nardello’s pepper is sweet and light when eaten raw, an almost uncanny sweet, fruity flavor makes these peppers tempting and delightful eaten straight off the plant. It is considered one of the very best frying peppers as its fruity raw flavor becomes perfectly creamy and soft when fried.
Nardellos can be cooked a lot like padrons – quickly at a high temperature, either grilled or fried until soft and then sprinkled with salt. You don’t really have to cut off the top or clean out the seeds unless it is for a special occasion.