An Heirloom is Born: The Eckerton Pepper

DISCOVERED: 1994
LOCATION: A Garden in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
PARENTAGE: Cherry Pepper & Serrano Pepper
STABLIZED: 2001
PROGENITOR: Tim Stark, Eckerton Hill Farm

It was 1994 when Tim Stark, a Manhattan consultant and weekend gardener, discovered an unusual pepper growing among his serrano and cherry peppers—red like the cherry peppers, yet shaped like a serrano. When tasted, it had the heat of the serrano but a flavor all its own: bright citrus notes with a light earthy finish. Stark decided to save its seeds for replanting and over the course of the next seven years diligently harvested and replanted each round of seeds, until every last one reproduced the Eckerton pepper. An heirloom was born. Ask Tim for some at his Union Square Greenmarket stand.