Savor a centenarian crop

Jimmy Nardello peppers

illustration by KYLE SHINE

Who is Jimmy Nardello, and why do we eat his peppers? Much like a Caesar salad or a Pavlova meringue, these peppers bear the name of an actual person. Jimmy brought pepper seeds with him to the United States from Italy in the 19th century and nurtured his plants, eventually donating them to the Seed Savers Exchange. Later on, the long Italian sweet pepper variety was inducted into Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste as an heirloom. Taste the glory of fruity Nardello peppers raw or fried, or string them up to dry and save some seeds for your own garden.