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Jalapeno - Black Seeds?

Black pepper Seeds

Recent Customer Question:

Can you eat a jalapeno that has black seeds?


Yes, as long as you don't see any mold! 

If peppers have black seeds inside,
there are a few reasons this could happen:

Shriveled Black Pepper Seeds

1. Immature Seeds
If peppers don't fully mature, sometimes you'll see brown or black seeds inside when cut open - or they may look shriveled. These are seeds that simply didn't fully develop.This doesn't mean they are bad, we usually remove and compost the black shriveled seeds, since they are not super appetizing in appearance! Unless you see mold (typically fuzzy), the peppers are safe to eat. The peppers shown above were picked before they were fully ripe at the end of the season (before a frost), and left in a basket on the table for a week, so the black seeds inside are typical. We just scooped them into the compost bin and chopped up the rest of the pepper to make some deliciously spicy Mexican Coleslaw also known as Cabbage Salsa with a Brunswick Cabbage and mix of tomatoes and hot peppers that we grew.

Black Pepper Seeds from sitting too long on the counter

2. Seeds can turn brown or black if picked and not used right away.
Pepper seeds also tend to turn black after the pepper is picked and is sitting out for several days. You can still eat the chile peppers with black seeds, as long as there is no mold, just cut out the black seeds and compost them.

Brown Pepper Seeds

3. Seeds can turn black if exposed to air
Seeds on peppers can also sometimes turn dark or black after getting exposed to air after cutting open the pepper. Usually this happens with immature seeds. So if you're chopping up peppers for pickles or salsa and you see some of the seeds turn brown or blackish, this is normal. Sometimes pepper seeds (especially immature ones) can t
urn dark brown or black upon exposure to air.  These are still safe to eat, but you can discard if desired (compost them!)

Rocoto Pepper with Black Seeds
2. Rocoto Peppers have Black Seeds
If it's a Rocoto pepper, they have black seeds!
So of course these peppers and seeds are fine to eat.

Many peppers varieties will have Black seeds for the above reasons.
We find that many peppers varieties including shishito, jalapeno, hatch green chile, poblano, as well as super hot peppers and habaneros and others will have blackish seeds if picked and left on the counter for a few days. It's best to use peppers right away for freshest flavor and crispness, but sometimes you can't get to them that quick!

Hot Sauce Recipes
You could make hot sauce or other pepper recipes with your peppers
to use them while they're extra fresh.

Or, you can wash, dry, and then freeze peppers whole – which is a great way to save them for use over the winter months to spice up salsas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, soups, stews, pastas, stir fries and more. 

Happy harvesting!