The Hunt for the Trinidad Scorpion & 7 Pod Chillies

by chilli joe on September 4, 2010 · 0 comments

in General Information

Joseph McCullough - Chilli Joe

Joseph McCullough - Chilli Joe

In 2008 I decided to try my hand at growing chillies. My first attempt was with the Birds Eye chillies which I planted in a small pot on my kitchen window.

As the buds started coming forth, my curiosity to grow other chillies was growing too. Next on the agenda was Scotch Bonnet and Peach Habaneros.

In 2009 not only had I successfully grown the Birds Eye, Scotch Bonnet and Peach Habaneros, I had also started planning my next year’s crop. This time I wanted to plant some of the world’s hottest chillies. Thanks to the anniversary present from my wife I had seeds for Chocolate Habaneros, Naga Morich and Tepin, now all I had to do was find the elusive Trinidad Scorpion and 7 Pod chillies and seeds.

We were due to leave for Trinidad on December 30th 2009 for a 1 month holiday, and so the hunt began. I had read that the Trinidad Scorpion was elusive to the point that many considered it a myth however I was determined to prove this myth was a reality.

We arrived in Trinidad and amidst the many tourist activities and family outings, very high on my agenda was finding the Trinidad Scorpion and 7 Pod chillies.

My wife’s family were happy to help with my chilli hunt and a few phone calls were made to try and find local farmers that grew chillies. The first few calls led to a dead end and one suggested we try some small farms in the Maloney area. This lead however would soon prove fruitless and in the end the Maloney farms never materialised.

In my mind I had pictured visiting fields and seeing hundreds of chilli plants growing in their natural environment, little did I know that the picture in my mind’s eye would remain just that – my imagination!

Many days were spent relaxing and enjoying the sun, sea, sand and spicy Trinidad foods but I still could not get my mind off finding my prize. By this time even my father-in-law had also become quite interested in my quest – I guess maybe I was talking about it at every opportunity I got! At any rate my father-in-law had caught the Trinidad Scorpion bug as well, so one afternoon after a day out visiting some historic sites my father-in-law made a detour to the Ministry of Agriculture. Surely this would lead me to the Trinidad Scorpion, the experts in Trinidad would certainly know where I could find it – or so I thought.

I left the car hopeful and walked into the Ministry of Agriculture, after 20 minutes I came back to the car but instead of directions to the nearest farm all I held was a small piece of paper with a few phone numbers on it. I wasn’t sure what to think, the Ministry of Agriculture had neither heard of the Trinidad Scorpion nor could they say with any certainty any other source in Trinidad that knew of it.

Maybe the elusive Trinidad Scorpion was all a myth as I had read on so many chilli websites, I was not ready to give up, I still had hope and so the next few days my wife was on the phone calling the numbers the Ministry of Agriculture had provided, but with each call came more deflation as the other Organisations and Agricultural Programmes also said they had not heard of the now more and more elusive Trinidad Scorpion.

A few more days went by, then we went to a family gathering where I would meet my wife’s aunts, uncles and cousins, as it transpired one of her uncles also grew chillies and had a few plants in his garden for me to see, but alas none were of the Trinidad Scorpion or 7 Pod. My wife’s cousin made a phone call to a friend and then announced with confidence that we should try a large farmers’ market in Central Trinidad we were sure to find it there! The hunt was again on and this time I was going to win.

Farther-in-Law selects Trinidad Scorpion & 7 Pod Chillies

Farther-in-Law selects Trinidad Scorpion & 7 Pod Chillies

The last week of our holiday had begun and a day out to the farmers’ market was top of my list of places to go. My father-in-law picked us up early and we set off. The entire journey there I was not sure whether I should get my hopes up or just resign myself to another dead end. We parked and started to walk into the farmers’ market, we had only just entered and walked a few metres when a woman’s voice could be heard above all the hustle and bustle – “Scorpion and 7 Pod”, “Scorpion & 7 Pod”. I could not believe my ears or my eyes, there in the first stall was a woman selling heaps and heaps of Scorpion and 7 Pod Chillies.

We greeted her and rambled on about how hard it had been to find the Scorpion and 7 Pod, she smiled and indicated that they grow them in great quantity at their farm further Central. Without hesitation, I whipped out my wallet and bought 2 large heaps of the Trinidad Scorpion and 7 Pod chillies, price was of no importance.

The Trinidad Scorpion & 7 Pod Chillies brought back to London

The Trinidad Scorpion & 7 Pod Chillies brought back to London

I had finally gained my prize, the Trinidad Scorpion was no longer a myth it was a reality and I had it, now all that remained was to see if I could successfully grow them back in London. We would just have to wait and see.

It was now early February 2010 and the time was fast approaching to start the germination process for the Trinidad Scorpion and 7 Pod amongst other chillies I had also decided to grow this season.

One of the Trinidad Scorpion Pods on my plant

One of the Trinidad Scorpion Pods on my plant

Over the next few months I was a brooding father all over again, watching their progress daily, making sure they had the right amount of water, light and nutrients. Soon the buds came forth, then they were tiny plants, already my mind was on when they would be ready for re-potting. Gradually day by day with much love and dedication my prized Trinidad Scorpion and 7 Pod chilli plants grew into healthy and luscious looking plants.

Our thanks to Joseph McCullough aka Chilli Joe for taking the time to write down his experiances finding and growing the Trinidad Scorpion & 7 Pod Chillies
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