Boy do we love a purple pepper. There are now countless purple and black varieties to choose from. However, one of the most striking is the buena mulata pepper.
This cayenne-type pepper was saved through generations, leading back to Horace Pippin, an artist living in Pennsylvania in the early 1920s. He collected rare seeds, and is known to have traded the fish pepper, buena mulata, and golden honey varieties.
In this article, we’ll discuss the buena mulata pepper in detail, from its appearance, heat level, flavor, and growth habits. Let’s get started!
Appearance and Plant
Without a doubt, the most appealing trait of the buena mulata pepper is its appearance. The pods start off a pale green, almost yellow color, but quickly turn bright purple as they grow. Once they begin to ripen, the peppers turn orange, then brown, and finally to a deep crimson red.
The pods grow to be long and slender, around 4 inches in length, and around 1/3 inch wide. The plants produce a relatively sparse canopy, with small, thin leaves.
Our buena mulata required support from a young age, and especially once the plant was heavy with pods. Compared to other cayenne types, the buena mulata certainly seems a bit more delicate and small.
Heat Level (Scoville)
Just like most cayenne types, the buena mulata is a pretty spicy pepper variety. It isn’t among the hottest in the world, but it does pack a good punch.
The buena mulata pepper ranges in heat from 30,000-50,000 SHUs on the Scoville scale. This is typical for run of the mill cayenne varieties, but the buena mulata has more ornamental charm.
While heat levels are average for a cayenne, yield is lower than other types. With this in mind, the buena mulata may not be the best choice if you are growing cayennes for large batches of sauce or powder.
Like most chiles, the buena mulata changes flavors as it ripens. So, if you pick the peppers while they are still purple (unripe), they will have a bit more of a vegetative flavor, almost grassy.
After the pods have changed to their final red color (ripe), the flavor is more sweet and smoky. I would recommend waiting for fully ripe pods before picking for the best flavor. However, they are edible at all stages, and maybe the purple color is more important than flavor.
Buena Mulata Seeds and Growing
If you want your own fresh buena mulata peppers, you’ll have to grow them yourself. There are many seed sources, but the best place to buy them is on rare seeds.
As for growing, you can treat the buena mulata like any other annuum species pepper. Learn how to grow peppers from seed in our detailed article here.
I hope this article inspires you to explore the vast selection of interesting pepper varieties. The buena mulata is certainly an eye-catching variety to add to the garden, with plenty of practical uses too!