No doubt a lot of Filipinos love their peppers to be really hot. That’s why hot chillies are so much in demand that during supply scarcity, the price really goes sky-high.
But there are also people like myself who can’t take the pungency of hot peppers and so we look for finger peppers (Pangsigang type) that are mild or not hot at all. That is why we were really excited when we discovered at the research station of Known-You Seed in Pingtung, Taiwan, that there Is such a variety that does not taste hot at all when green. It is just like the open pollinated cultivar that many farmers plant in Batac, Ilocos Norte (Philippines) that is well liked by many Ilocanos and even non-Ilocanos that we know.
The variety at the Known-You research farm is called Point Man. It is being grown in just a small plot probably because the technicians or the marketers of the company did not think that there is a market for that kind of finger pepper. Anyway, the fruit of Point Man turns hot once it is ripe, which means red.
We suggested to Aubry V. Ancheta who is involved in marketing at Known-You Philippines that they should promote it at least in the Ilocos region where many consumers love the non-pungent cultivar. We also believe, however, that the new hybrid could also be saleable in other parts of the country.
Point Man could be an excellent ingredient in the authentic Ilocano pinakbet (not the kind that is usually offered as pinakbet in retaurants in Metro Manila). It could also be cooked adobo-style solo or without any other vegetable. Just cook the young fruits with vinegar, garlic, a few slices of pork or bagnet and fish sauce to taste. The dish should be cooked with just a small amount of water and welldone. The sweet finger pepper could also be cooked with other veggies adobo style. These other vegetables could include okra, saluyot and patani. Instead of pork, you can use broiled dalag or catfish.
Well, we hope Known-You Philippines will introduce Point Man in the Philippines. This is a very prolific variety and yields very high, according to Becky Wang.