In Search of The datil Pepper


Staff member
who can get me some fresh ones or seeds?
Pepper, Datil — Capsicum sinense Jacques[SUP]1[/SUP]James M. Stephens[SUP]2[/SUP]

A distinctly different small hot pepper called datil has been grown in the St. Augustine area for some time by gardeners. It is particularly preferred by the Minorcan community of that area. Of course, it is not restricted to that part of the state and may be grown elsewhere.

DESCRIPTION There is some indication that datil pepper belongs to C. sinense Jacques. This species is most readily distinguished by the three to five flowers at each node, the drooping pedicels, and the circular constriction at the base of the fruit "cap." The plants are 1½ to 2½ feet high; the fruits are from ½ to 4 inches long, varying in shape from spherical to oblong. Most of the other hot varieties of pepper are usually either C. annuum or C. frutescens.

Datil pepper is grown in a manner similar to other hot and mild peppers. Plant seed or set out transplants during frost-free periods. The plants need about five months to reach mature size. Occasionally, seed of datil will be offered for sale by gardeners. Otherwise, such seed is not always easy to obtain. One problem encountered in St. Augustine is the pepper weevil. These insects insert an egg at the base of the fruit in the pedicel; the developing maggot then causes the small fruit to drop.

Most datil peppers are made into a hot sauce.
Individual families make their own sauces, using well-guarded recipes.
One of the more popular commercial sauces is called "Dat'l-Do-It."
It features a combination of brown sugar, ketchup, tomato paste, honey, and the datil pepper sauce.


This document is HS646, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date May 1994. Revised March 2009. Reviewed February 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
James M. Stephens, professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611.

[/SUB][HR][/HR][SUB]The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office. [/SUB]

The datil is an exceptionally hot pepper, a variety of the species Capsicum chinense (syn. Capsicum sinense).

Datils are similar in strength to habaneros but have a sweeter, fruitier flavor.
Their level of spiciness may vary from 100,000 to 300,000 on the Scoville scale.
Mature peppers are about 3.5 in long and yellow-orange in color.

Datil peppers are cultivated throughout the United States and elsewhere, but the majority are produced in St. Augustine, Florida.

Although local lore suggests datils were brought to St. Augustine by indentured workers from Minorca in the late 18th century, it is more likely they were brought from Chile around 1880 by a jelly maker named S. B. Valls.[SUP][1][/SUP]

As of late, some controversy has emerged over whether or not the true origin was resultant of the slave trade in St Augustine.

The pepper is almost identical to a west African pepper called the "fatalii" or "fatal." The similarities in size, shape, color, heat and flavor, as well as the similarity of the names, makes this an issue that deserves more investigation.[SUP][citation needed]

FataliScale [CC-BY-3.0], by Steelerdon (en.wikipedia.org), from Wikimedia Commons


Datil peppers are used by the Minorcan community in many recipes.[SUP][2][/SUP] Many commercial manufacturers of datil pepper products are located in St. Augustine, which also has the annual Datil Pepper Festival. The datil is listed on Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste.
I would like to have an authentic Datil to cross breed with a these

The Florina pepper (Greek: πιπεριά Φλωρίνης) is a pepper cultivated in the northern Greek region of Western Macedonia and specifically in the wider area of Florina; for which it is named. It has a deep red color, and is shaped like a cow's horn. Initially the pepper has a green color, ripening into red, after the 15th of August. The red pepper is known in Greece for its rich sweet flavor, used in various Greek dishes and is exported in various canned forms abroad, usually hand-stripped, keeping the natural scents of pepper and topped with extra virgin olive oil, salt and vinegar

The seed was brought to Greece in the 17th century, and cultivated successfully by the locals, as it adapted to the Macedonian climate and soil.[SUP][1][/SUP] The pepper belongs to the capsicum genus of the nightshade family Solanaceae.[SUP][3][/SUP] There are various forms of the capsicum genus which vary in taste, size, shape and color, such as the 'Grossum' group (sweet peppers) and the ‘Longum’ group (chilli peppers).[SUP][4][/SUP] The word Capsicum, originated from the Greek word "Kapso", meaning "to bite".[SUP][5][/SUP] Florina's red peppers were awarded the recognition of Protected Designation of Origin in 1994 by the World Trade Organization (WTO).[SUP][6][/SUP] Every year during the last days of August, in a small local village in Aetos, Florina a feast of peppers is held, including celebrations with music bands and cooked recipes, based on peppers which are offered to all the guests.[SUP][7][/SUP]