When we grow peppers, we make a point to always grow varieties that are not easy to find. Instead of bell peppers, we have grown the Italian Marconi. Instead of jalapenos, we have grown the jalafuego.
Perhaps one of the most difficult-to-source peppers is the 7 Pot Bubblegum variety. This superhot pepper, also known as the Bleeding Bubblegum or the BBG7 pepper, is a marvel in the world of strange peppers.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the characteristics of 7 Pot Bubblegum peppers, their origin, heat level, and some of the newest variants that you can grow yourself at home.
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7 Pot Bubblegum Origin
Jon Harper, a well known chili pepper breeder from the UK, created the 7 Pot Bubblegum through cross breeding. 7 Pot peppers are some of the original superhot peppers, native to the Caribbean and South America.
Naturally, they were among the first to be crossed with other varieties as breeders searched for the hottest peppers in the world. Some of the combined genetics resulted in strange traits.
The exact cross is difficult to track down, but the best guess is that this was a cross between the Moruga Scorpion and the 7 Pot Yellow peppers. This was sure to result in a hot pepper with a gnarly shape.
But no one could have guessed that a superhot pepper would have an oversized calyx that turns the same color as the pepper when ripe. This must have had Jon Harper jumping for joy when he first grew the plants!
7 Pot Bubblegum Characteristics
I love everything about this pepper variety. The peppers are strange and quirky from top to bottom, boasting an oversized, pepper-colored calyx along with superhot heat!
We found that the calyx doesn’t turn red unless you allow the peppers to sit on the plant for a week or more after the peppers ripen. It would be very fun to watch this happen in a timelapse video – this might be a fun winter project for us.
The color will eventually make its way up the stem as well (if you can wait that long before picking). These traits make the Bubblegum pepper plant a standout in the garden.
One drawback that we found with our plants is a lower-than-average yield for a chinense species pepper. Our first BBG7 plant did not get much larger than 2.5′ and only produced a handful of peppers.
However, this could have been due to the exceptionally hot and wet summer that we had when we grew our first plant. Nearby plants certainly produced better yields than the Bubblegum plant.
7 Pot Bubblegum Scoville Heat Level
Since the origin of the BBG7 involves one of the world’s hottest peppers, it is no surprise that this variety has serious heat. They are similar to other 7 Pot peppers on the Scoville scale.
Though no official Scoville testing has been done, the 7 Pot Bubblegum comes in around 1,000,000 SHUs on the Scoville heat scale. This places is squarely in line with the heat of a classic ghost pepper (bhut jolokia).
With all 7 pot peppers, legend has it that a single pepper can spice up 7 pots of stew. This isn’t surprising at all given how potent the heat is from these small peppers! If you need more proof, watch Bill Moore taste one here.
7 Pot Bubblegum Flavor
Some growers say that the flavor of the 7 Pot Bubblegum reminds them of sweet bubblegum or candy, hence the name. However, I didn’t find it to have a much different taste from other red 7 Pot or scorpion varieties.
The flavor is definitely fruity and slightly citrusy. This is perfect for making tasty hot sauces or for flavoring and spicing up soups and stews.
One great way to get the flavor without too much of the heat is to simmer the peppers whole in stew or chili (without slicing them). Just remove the stem, toss one into the pot, and allow it to slowly release its flavor.
Once the meal is done cooking, remove the pepper and discard to keep the heat levels reasonable. Or, if you like it super hot, just dice up the pepper and cook them into your meals, but beware!
7 Pot Bubblegum Variants
Once the BBG7 pepper was created, it was a popular pepper among enthusiasts and breeders. As a result, there are now a wide variety of peppers that have the bleeding calyx genes.
Thought to be a cross between the Pink Tiger pepper and the 7 Pot Bubblegum, the Peachgum Tiger is a beauty. The peppers start off purple and eventually ripen to a creamy peach color. The calyx maintains the dark purple color until it eventually turns peachy.
Some peppers ripen to a creamy white color, so of course, there is a white version of the 7 Pot BBG! We have yet to grow this pepper, but it looks amazing, especially when the calyx and stems turn white. Here are some pictures and seeds.
Orange BBG Peppers
There are also orange variants of the original Bubblegum pepper. Check out some of them here, along with several other unique Bubblegum-related pepper varieties on White Hot Peppers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the 7 Pot Bubblegum, connect with us and other Pepper Geeks on our Facebook group here. Feel free to share any more info you have about the BBG7 in the comments below!