The Datil Pepper is a unique yellowish orange pepper that is mostly known in St. Augustine. Between the climate and sea breezes it thrives here. The Datil Pepper has earned an heirloom status in St. Augustine, Fl. The Datil pepper has even been proclaimed as the ‘official’ pepper of St. Johns County.
So how HOT is the Datil? Datil Peppers have a reported 350,000 scoville level. The Datil Pepper’s heat is somewhere between the Jalapeno and Habanero. Hot but not hot enough to melt your ears off. When eaten the flavor is a warm sensation that lingers in the throat and finds the back entrance to your nose.
The Datil pepper arrived in St Augustine in 1700’s. There are many folk stories. One of our favorite stories is the Datil arrived as a result of slavery. Hot peppers were found throughout the islands and South America. There is a pepper with a similar name in Africa, where slaves were taken. Slaves traded by the Spanish may been the best source of St. Augustine’s Datil pepper.
The most popular story is that the Menorncan’s who were indentured servants of the Turnbull Plantation brought the Datil to St. Augustine in 1797. The Menorcan’s fled the harsh life of the plantation and came to St. Augustine to seek protection of the Spanish Governor. Protection was granted and Menorcan cuisine, which includes the liberal use of the Datil in stews, chowders, and other products, ensued. Many restaurants in St. Augustine feature the pepper on menus and many St. Augustine residents have a recipe for Datil pepper sauce.
Whatever the origin pepper aficionados have come to love the distinct heat and flavor of the Datil.
Year after year our friends and family have enjoyed our Datil Pepper Sausage. With a lot of care and love we process fresh ingredients and make a sausage that the flavor comes on and stays with you. This year we have decided to try and find a Co-Packer to make our sausage. To date we have not located a company to make Datil Dave Sausage. We are going to try and produce a fresh batch in the Fall for the Holidays.
Be sure to try our Datil Jelly, and Seasonings too!
We hope that you will enjoy them as we do!
Mary Ellen and David
Datil Dave LLC