An Israeli pepper breeder has a new spicy creation that is undergoing sample trials in Europe and Africa.
Kovi Ziv-av is a grower based in the Arava Valley, in Israel, specialised in the cultivation of all kinds of hot peppers. Recently, he discovered a new variety, the Arava Scorpion, which he obtained by “growing some seeds together with the orange Habanero. After a few years, I had this amazing variety with a surprising spiciness, which reaches between 800,000 and 1,000,000 in the Scoville scale,” affirms Kobi.
The extremely hot and dry climate of the Arava Valley has some impact on the flavour not only of this variety, but also of the Habanero, which differs from the ones grown in Mexico. Kobi explains that “those who have managed to train their palates to the taste of hot peppers say it is not just different, but also really good. At the moment I’m trying to combine it with the Trinidad Scorpion.”
Kobi Ziv-av not only deals with fresh produce, as the hot peppers that cannot be sold fresh are dried and/or used in the production of powder. “Last week, for example, we sent a shipment of dried Habaneros to South Africa and we also have orders from countries such as Turkey, Uzbekistan and Nigeria, which is quite impressive considering we are only a small farm,” says Kobi.
It is currently summer in Israel and for Kobi Ziv-av this entails intermission between seasons. “We will grow Habaneros again in August, so at the moment we are fully devoted to the manufacture and shipment of dried products. We are not looking to expand internationally with our fresh produce, but we will see what the future brings.”
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Publication date: 7/9/2014