Kurtovska Kapia Pepper

Ark of taste
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Куртовска Капия

The Kurtovska kapia is a traditional variety of sweet bell peppers suitable for field cultivation grown in the Plovdiv area of central southern Bulgaria. Plants are 50-60 cm tall and produce fruits that are big, hanging, shiny and flattened with tender, juicy, sweet flavored flesh. The fruit’s surface is three-angled and smooth with two longitudinal grooves. Peppers are dark green to dark red when ripe, 12-15 cm long and with an average mass of 75-80 grams. This variety is suitable for early and late production with a production cycle of 140-150 days. Kurtovska kapia can be consumed fresh, preserved or in cooking.   Alexander Dimitrov (1854-1928), also known as “Grandpa Alexander,” is known to be one the first Bulgarians who brought pepper seeds from Hungary. He started pepper cultivation and then built a mill for dried red pepper powder in his home village Kurtovo Konare (in the Thracian Valley). Hybridizing different varieties, the Kurtovska kapia variety was defined. Consequently, the variety was further bred by the Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute, Plovdiv. Since 2009 an annual pepper, tomato and traditional food Festival is held every second week of September in Kurtovo Konare where the Kurtovska kapia is featured.   Kurtovska kapia is mainly grown for personal consumption, though it can be found sold at local markets. However, it is not always clear if these peppers are the true Kurtovska kapia or improved or hybrid varieties. The pepeprs are grown together with other sweet pepper cultivars, many of which are preferred over the Kurtovska kapia for being more productive, even though they may have less flavor. This co-cultivation can result in hybrid seeds, and so the purity of the Kurtovska kapia is under threat.  

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Production area:Kurtovo Konare area

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Emilia Shusharova