The Hinkelhatz has a delicious spicy flavor. The peppers are usually red or yellow, though a very rare orange variant exists preserved among a small group of Mennonite farmers in Maxatawy, Pennsylvania. One of the oldest heirlooms preserved by this group of Mennonites, it dates to before 1880 and has been cultivated for more than 150 years. It’s name comes from its resemblance in size and shape to a chicken heart, or “hinklehatz.” Traditionally, the Mennonites use this pepper to make a vinegar-based hot sauce.
The Hinkelhatz is a prolific producer and, because it is cold tolerand, it has a longer season than the average hot pepper. It is also resistant to pests and disease. The bumpy, wrinkled, tapered pods measure 1 1/4 inches, and the plant is small and compact, measuring 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. The pepper matures 105 days from transplant.