On my annual weekend fishing trip I stopped by Miller's Organic Produce, an Amish farm in W. Farmington, Ohio. I had bought some wonderful thin-skinned pink tomatoes there last season and wanted to see what was available this year.
The green peppers above were laid out in peck sized containers with a variety of other wonderful produce and they were marked 'Anna Heims.' The young Amish girl behind the counter told me they were hot, so naturally I bought them.
That night I halved them, removed the seeds and flesh, fried them with some cubed sopressata and melted Parmesano Reggiano cheese on top.
They were hot enough to make everyone at the table sweat, but after the first one, the second didn't seem so hot and tasted more flavorful.
After returning to Pittsburgh I searched online for a pepper with that name, figuring it was an Amish heirloom without luck.
That Monday I had lunch with Fallingwater horticulturalist Ann Talerak, who after hearing 'Anna Heims,' blurted out "'Anaheim' pepper, it's 'Anaheim.'"
I thought it was an interesting study in the culture of gardening and how can hear the same thing differently.
In my mind, I saw the farmer asking about that type of pepper. Someone told him they are 'Anaheim’s,' which he heard as the proper name 'Anna Heims.'
The moral of the story...unclear actually, but interesting...right?
I guess that's why all plants have specific Latin names, officially "Anaheim' pepper is Capsicum annuum, try changing that into someone's name!