Mariano’s Calabrian Chile is a special pepper because it is an heirloom grown here in Pittsburgh by Mariano Floro! Mariano is from Falerna in Calabria and came to the US in 1954. He settled in Sewickley, PA where two of his brothers and their families also settled. Mariano refers to these peppers as Corno, the Italian word for horn.
We love this pepper because it is incredibly prolific and flavorful. It is a hot pepper that he both dries & salt cures. When he dries the peppers he uses them in his homemade sausages. Cured, he makes into a condiment that he loves with scrambled eggs.
Garden Dreams was gifted these seeds many years ago from Mariano through The Italian Garden Project. Mary Menniti started The Italian Garden Project to help document & preserve the traditions of folks like Mariano. The Italian Garden Project has very exciting things going on to preserve Italian American heirlooms, including the Legacy Seed Collection with True Love Seeds and Legacy Fig Tree Collection. They are preserving not only heirloom seeds & trees, but also the stories they hold about Italian immigrant history.
We grow Mariano’s Calabrian Chile at Garden Dreams to save the seeds to continue to preserve this heritage. We will be sure to grow more of these fabulous pepper seedlings next year, as we have sold out for the 2023 season. You can find the peppers for sale at Shiloh Farm stand this summer! We are proud to continue to share this heirloom pepper on Mariano’s behalf and carry on his tradition.