I Love the Mad Hatter F1 Peppers

Nov 4, 2017 | Love This!

Name: Capsicum baccatum Mad Hatter F1 hybrid pepper.

Type of Plant: A very productive pepper plant with a unique shaped fruit. This pepper was chosen as an All-American Selection for 2017 and with good reason.

Why I love this plant: The All-American Selections people sent me seeds for this plant and I started about four of them for my vegetable garden this year. Wow, was I impressed! The large plants grew to almost three feet high for me, and they have produced many lovely and delicious peppers from August on.

Full disclosure: this wasn’t a great pepper growing year in my area. The nights were cool and August was more like October should be in terms of cool and damp conditions. So if a pepper plant did well in this summer, I can only expect that it will be fantastic in growing seasons to come.

These peppers have an odd shape and aren’t very large. This makes the plant extremely ornamental and worth growing for this alone. But the fruit is sweet and delicious. They are great chopped in salads, as well as used in cooking. My favorite way to prepare them, however, was to toss the pieces with olive oil and roast them in the oven. Done this way they are like a combination between sundried tomatoes and peppers.

A Word to the Wise: These plants are tall and kind of rangy, which makes them very ornamental but not too sturdy. I didn’t stake mine this year but you can be sure that I’ll supply attractive supports in the years to come since the fruit is so attractive it will be even more ornamental when staked.

You can see that from early on these are ornamental peppers. This photo also shows how lean and lanky the plants are. If you don’t support them they do just fine in terms of fruit production, but they’d be much more attractive if an attractive and unobtrusive staking system is put into place early on.

The peppers turn from green to bright red. They weren’t spicy for me, but were always sweet with full pepper flavor. Some reports I’ve read say that they can grow spicier as they age, but this wasn’t the case for mine.

 

These peppers are easy to cut for cooking! Just slice off their “noses” leaving the core and seeds in place.

Toss the pieces in olive oil and roast at 350 until the edges are starting to char and the peppers get soft. You might want to stir them a time or two while they are roasting.

These would make great peppers to grow in a container since they are not only ornamental but very productive as well. As of this writing on November 3rd, I’m still harvesting these peppers!

25 Comments

  1. Bonita Ohye

    Can we harvest them while in their green/yellow state? Or is is better to wait until they turn red?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      They are most flavorful, and vitamin packed, when red.

      Reply
  2. carol o'shea

    I grew one plant in a container this year. here in Tauranga, NZ. It was doing very well and had many fruit in varying degrees of ripening when they all started to shrivel and go soft. Initially I thought it needed more water but giving extra made no difference. Very disappointing. We had a super summer and all other capsicums and chillis did exceptionally well.

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Of course it’s impossible for me to know why your Mad Hatter didn’t do well, but you might give it another try. I’ve planted them for 3 years now and they have been both productive and amusing! This year I’m tempted to plant them in the flower garden….

      Reply
  3. Jayne

    These are new to me and I’m excited to try them. Green now but can’t wait for them to turn. I will Share with my friend from Peru!,

    Reply
  4. Brendan D

    This is just a renamed Bishop’s Crown. Not a hybrid. This entire pepper is a marketing scam. The Bishop’s Crown (or Ubatuba where it’s from) is an old South American pepper, no F1. Such baloney.

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      No need to be so cranky, Brendan. And yes, this one is a hybrid. But it’s related to that South American pepper for sure. The AAS website lists it this way:
      Winner Type: National
      Class: Pepper
      Variety Name: Mad Hatter F1
      Genus: Capsicum
      Species: baccatum
      Year: 2017
      Common Name: Bishops crown pepper
      Type: Edible – Vegetable
      Breeder: PanAmerican Seed
      Close Market Comparison: Balloon, Bishops Crown

      Reply
  5. Aimee

    We planted mad hatter peppers this year simply because I was amused by their shape when choosing things for our garden. 3 peppers bloomed out fairly early but are still yellowish in color, 3 others are still quite small and green. Weve pulled many bells and banana peppers already. Do these normally take several weeks to turn?
    Also, excited to try these in a recipe, but I’ve never cared for straight peppers. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Aimee – the seed packet lists Mad Hatter as 65 days to harvest so you can count backwards…but in my garden it definitely didn’t “take off” until late summer and I picked the most peppers in September. They do turn red as they ripen, so hang in there!

      Reply
  6. Edward Charity Jr

    These are much different than the Bishops Crown. The bottom is inverted (points inward) whereas the Bishops Crown points outward.

    Reply
  7. Bond007

    It’s an F1 and different from the Bishop’s Crown. Simply Google some images of them.

    Reply
  8. Richard Rapp

    I have about 36 peppers in various stages of growth on the 1 plant I put in.

    Reply
  9. Richard Rapp

    I’m going to try putting them in my cookies this year.

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Why not? Put them in cookies, cake and tacos. I mince my peppers, saute in olive oil an then freeze them in tablespoon sized lumps on waxed paper. Once frozen I put the lumps into a plastic bag to freeze.

      Reply
  10. Edward Charity, Jr

    The roasting recipe worked great.
    Thanks to a neighbors suggestion after I gave them a big batch of my crop, used them in a recipe for Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce. The recipe is from a site called Salt & Lavender. Came out great. Give it a try

    Is there a way to post pictures on this site?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      No way to post photos here I think. But I’m glad to hear you have a good crop and used them in this recipe!

      Reply
  11. Michellece A Cufone

    I grew them for the 1st time this year. They are sweet, like bell peppers, and kind of lemony. I filled them with hummus, or tuna…delicious!!!

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Michellence,
      I love the tuna idea!

      Reply
  12. Jeffrey Cupka

    can i use these for a Mexican soup????

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Yes, but they are not spicy.

      Reply
  13. John Smith

    I have grown them for 3 years. We live in Arizona and i was fortunate that 3 of the plants lasted over winter last year.
    First year plants were 3 -4 feet tall and loaded with peppers. We eat them at all stages, green, yellow, orange (yes some of mine were orange before going completely red)
    The second year they grew from 4-6 feet high and again lots of peppers.. We could not keep up with the production.
    We eat them raw, roast them, put in everything, Very mild and only a very few showed heat.
    One note I did grow Bishop crown along side of these and they definitely had a different shape and those did get extremley hot when left to ripen…

    I highly recommend these to any one growing peppers in Arizona. Mine have done very well (they had partial shade from a tree at hottest time of day)

    Reply
  14. Marcus Toole

    I grew this pepper in my garden in 2019 here in SE Georgia near an orange tree here in SE Georgia, borderline between Zone 8b / 9A.. It grew huge, had the best tasting peppers of all my peppers for fresh eating but was slow to produce. But here is the pleasant surprise. Both plants survived the winter (seasonal low 26F this year). The only other pepper plant to ever do that for me was a Dragon Cyan. I transplanted them to a sunnier location in the hopes that they will be more productive this year. Only one survived being transplanted, but it is growing vigorously. Hopefully it will make peppers much earlier this year than last year. But yes, to your original post. By pepper standards it’s quite tolerant to cold weather. The open question is can it take Georgia summer heat in full sun given its tolerance for cold. We shall see in a couple of months.

    Reply
  15. Craig Jenkins

    Mine are still on the vine, moving from green to orange. (Aug 13 in Toronto) Very prolific and doing very well in pots.

    Reply
  16. Andreas Rupp

    I grow all kinds of peppers in the okanagan valley of BC. Mad hatters tend to ripen after August, but produce extremely well with many peppers in September and
    October. Picking green ones before frost, the have all turned red. We mix with jalapeños for excellent pickles. Stay nice and crunchy. Of course we use them in salads and stews as well. A fun pepper to grow.

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Andreas!

      Reply

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