Orange is my happy color, and finding excellent orange veggies for my potager is always a goal. The first orange bell pepper trialed was “Orange Sun,” not a great success because brown spots appeared before the pepper became completely orange, so much of each pepper had to be discarded. The second year’s candidate was “Orange Star” and although it was an improvement, it took too long to turn orange. This year, “Orange You Sweet” was purchased from the Amish seed store I wrote about earlier this spring. Their catalog said simply “65-68 days. Produces dark green to deep orange mid-thick walled Hungarian cheese shaped fruit that are great comparisons with ‘Right on Red’ and ‘Yes to Yellow.’ Well suited for stuffing or pickling. Suitable for field or greenhouse production.”
I purchased a packet, and eight plants were grown and planted into the potager after the soil was warm and the weather “settled.” Well, as “settled” as weather ever gets in Indiana! The plants grew well, blooming and setting fruit early on. The first harvest occurred on July 12. Here’s a photo of a more recent harvest four days ago, with a standard bell pepper for size reference. All that were orange were picked, but I could probably get that many again today because the plants are very prolific, and the time to ripen seems short. I’ve grown mini-bells before, but never a Hungarian cheese type. Cut open, the walls are thick and the seed cluster small and easy to remove. The flavor is sweet with a bit of tang, but no heat. Traditionally Hungarian cheese peppers were used to flavor and color cheese. The “normal” color is red, so these orange ones are a bit less common. We like them raw, plain in salads or stuffed with an herbed cream cheese. I’m stuffing some with a bacon-cheese-scallion mixture next and baking them until lightly browned. Reputedly good for pickling, I may put up a few jars at the end of the season, like Red Sweet Cherry peppers.
What I like best, is that the peppers can remain on the plants, providing that bright orange color I love for a lengthy time without getting spots or spoiling. After all, what’s the use of growing orange peppers, if as soon as they are orange, they must be picked and removed from the potager? This is one variety that will definitely be in next’s year’s planting plan. However, I’m still looking for a really good full-sized orange bell pepper, so if you have a favorite that performs well, please comment!