Capsicum annuum "Holy Mole," though sometimes referred to as "Holy Moly" pepper, is a relatively new hot pepper hybrid, the first from the pasilla-type pepper. The Holy Mole pepper is quickly gaining popularity as a mildly hot pepper that is flavorful, easy to grow and can be used in almost any Mexican recipe.
The Holy Mole chili pepper was developed as a hybrid of the Pasilla chili pepper to give gardeners an earlier and bountiful harvest yield of peppers from this virus-resistant plant. A mildly hot pepper (around 700 on the Scoville scale), Holy Mole has a faint nutty flavor. Peppers can begin to be picked in 85 days from planting, when the 7- to 9-inch long pepper is still an immature lime green color. As it matures, the pepper will turn dark green, then, finally, a rich dark brown color at complete maturity. The pepper can be harvested at any of those stages, but seed gathering for saving should be from completely mature peppers.
Since the 1930s, All-America Selections (AAS) has been independently testing new varieties of flowers, fruits and vegetables to verify an improvement in the variety. Test growing areas are established, then independent, skilled and impartial judges evaluate the plants. In 2007, the Holy Mole pepper was selected as the only vegetable to receive the award. Holy Mole pepper attracted the AAS award because of its early maturity, abundant production of flavorful peppers and its resistance to common viruses, including tobacco mosaic virus, that can stunt growth and limit production.
As its name implies, Holy Mole peppers are ideal for culinary dishes that call for mole sauce. Although there is a wide selection of mole sauce recipes, true sauces will almost always include a pasilla chili pepper, which the Holy Mole is. The pepper is roasted, or dried, then ground for inclusion in the sauce recipe. Holy mole peppers are also ideal for fresh chili pepper culinary dishes, giving the dish a mildly hot, nutty and tangy flavor. When the Holy Mole peppers have turned a rich dark brown color on the bush, they can be harvested and dried for future use for cooking.
Holy Mole pepper plants grow to a height of 20 inches with a spread of 20 inches. The leaves are large, with a smooth green appearance, that create a full bush look. As the long, slender peppers form and grow among the leaves, gradually changing color from lime green to dark green and, finally, a striking dark chocolate brown, the Holy Mole pepper plant is attractive as an ornamental plant in landscapes and containers.
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