There is an unimaginable number of sweet peppers in the world - eyes run wide! I think that every amateur gardener, like me, has already found for himself several especially favorite varieties of bell peppers. But the spirit of the explorer requires me to try something new every year. Therefore, when sweet pepper seeds of Serbian varieties were brought to one of the gardening seed shops, which I trust, I immediately bought them in order to form my own opinion about them. What came of this, I will tell you in my article.

Sweet peppers of Serbian selection - 6 of the most delicious varieties
Sweet peppers of Serbian selection - 6 of the most delicious varieties

Pepper for aivar

Every tourist who plans to visit Serbia is recommended to try the national Serbian dish - aivar. It is a vegetable puréed appetizer, similar to caviar, based on baked peppers and other vegetables. Depending on whether sweet or hot peppers are included in such a snack, it can be very hot or slightly spicy.

Serbs cannot imagine their life without aivar and actively add it to meat dishes, to side dishes (instead of sauce) or spread it on bread, making sandwiches. Of course, the pepper, from which aivar is made, is considered the most popular vegetable in the Balkans; it is grown everywhere, especially in the southern regions of the country. The selection of the favorite vegetable is also at a high level in Serbia.

One of the largest Serbian seed breeding companies is called Superior . It was founded in 1993 by Professor Ivo Djinovic, Professor of Genetics, Plant Breeder, Ph.D. He is considered the most famous specialist in plant genetics in Southeast vegetable pepper aivar sauce for the winter.  

1. Sweet pepper "Elephant ear"

"Elephant ear" ( Slonovo Uvo ) is a variety that was developed in Serbia in the 90s by Superior. It belongs to one of the most productive peppers. There are not many varieties of bell peppers in the world that could come close to it in terms of yield.

In favorable growing conditions, which include fertile soil, regular watering, feeding, loosening and, if necessary, protection from pests and diseases, more than 2 kg of marketable peppers can be easily harvested from one bush. In less suitable conditions (with poor watering, unstable weather and irregular feeding), this variety produces up to 1 kg of pepper fruit per season.

The size of one fruit is from 150 to 350 grams. The width of the fruit is, on average, 10-12 cm, and the length is 18-20 cm. The shape of the fruit is flattened, two or three chambered, a characteristic feature of the variety is the presence of a narrow, often rounded, thin tail at the end of each fruit. The color in technical ripeness is dark green, fully ripe peppers have a bright red color.

The walls of the fruit of the "Elephant Ear" pepper are rather thick, the taste is sweet. At home, this variety is considered one of the best for making aivar. The cultivar is very resistant to the typical diseases of the nightshade, therefore it is well suited for organic cultivation. Pepper "Elephant ear" of medium ripening, the bushes are very powerful and branched.

Sweet pepper "Elephant ear" (Slonovo Uvo)
Sweet pepper "Elephant ear" (Slonovo Uvo). © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya
Sweet pepper "Elephant ear" in the context
Sweet pepper "Elephant ear" in the context. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

My impressions of the variety

In terms of yield, this Serbian pepper, indeed, surpassed all varieties of sweet peppers I have in the past season. In addition, I have always distinguished these peppers even at a distance from other varieties due to the presence of a characteristic hook tail. Most of the fruits of the "Elephant Ear" pepper turned out to be rather large, but, unfortunately, they cannot be called thick-walled, the pulp of this pepper was about 5 mm across the entire diameter. The taste of the fruit is sweetish, but not sweet enough compared to other Serbian varieties. The bushes were very strong and branched.

2. Pepper "Somborka"

Although this variety is a sweet pepper, it actually tastes mildly pungent and has a slight pungent edge. It is good fresh in salads and sandwiches, it can also be stuffed, baked and marinated. This pepper is conical in shape with a sharp top. The mass of one fruit is small - 60-90 g (maximum - 110 g). The color is whitish or light yellow at technological maturity, but as it matures, it gradually becomes intense red.

The main feature of the variety, the fruits on the bush are arranged vertically (that is, with the nose up), like hot pepper. The pepper is fleshy and juicy, the average wall thickness is 4-6 mm. Although the peppers are small in size, in the open field, one stem can produce up to 2 kg of fruit with regular feeding, watering and early sowing.

Bushes of semi-determinate type of growth, compact and strongly branched. The Somborka variety is suitable for growing in a greenhouse or outdoors. This pepper is "tolerant" to the most common diseases of peppers and is unpretentious in cultivation. In terms of ripening, Somborka pepper is a medium-early variety, but at the same time it is one of the earliest of the peninsular varieties.

Sweet pepper "Somborka"
Sweet pepper "Somborka" (Somborka). © Pumpkin Hill Produce farms

My impressions of the variety

This variety impressed me with its unusual appearance, as the peppers growing with their spouts upward look very original. The fruits are in no hurry to blush and remain greenish-yellow for a very long time. The taste of Somborka pepper was noticeably different from other sweet peppers in a pleasant and light spice, so this variety was best suited for sandwiches and salads, as well as for stuffing with cheese filling (small fruits were just right for this dish). The only drawback is that the yield of the variety last season was not very high.

3. Pepper "Zhupsky Early"

At home, sort of "early Zhupsky» ( Župska Rana ) is one of the most delicious sweet peppers. Suitable for greenhouse cultivation for early harvest, can also be successfully grown outdoors. The bush is strong, compact and fruitful, with an average height of 60 cm.

The fruits are long (up to 15 cm long), flat, slightly curved, the weight of one is 100-200 g. At technological maturity, the color of the fruits is yellow-green, and at biological maturity, the peppers become intensely red. The pulp is thick, fleshy, sweetish testy

The variety is unpretentious and resistant to most diseases. In terms of ripening, as the name implies, "Zhupsky early" refers to early ripening varieties of pepper and yields a harvest about 90 days after germination. It is suitable for fresh consumption, stuffing and canning. The yield of the variety for industrial cultivation ranges from 25 to 35 tons per hectare. In the garden, the yield is 5-10 kilograms per square meter.

Župska Rana sweet pepper
Župska Rana sweet pepper. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

My impressions of the variety

This cultivar really bore a crop earlier than other sweet peppers in the past season. The fruits were rather large, but, unfortunately, they also did not have thick walls, and the wall thickness was only 5 mm or less. But the strong sweetness impressed me a lot, and the Zhupsky Ranniy pepper became our favorite for fresh consumption. The bushes were not too high, the yield was average. The elongated configuration and not too wide fruits also made it possible to actively use this variety for baking stuffed with vegetables and cheese along with other long-fruited varieties.

4. Pepper "Jacket"

Pepper "Kurtovka" ( Kurtovska kapja ) is the most cultivated classic sweet pepper in the Balkans, as it is considered one of the best for preparing the national dish ayvar. The fruits are very fleshy and thick-walled, rather large and reach an average weight of 200 g. When sowing seeds from February to mid-March, the harvest is harvested from July to October.

Variety "Kurtovka" is very resistant to diseases and unfavorable growing conditions. On an industrial scale, it produces up to 60 tons of marketable fruits per hectare with good care and in favorable conditions. In technological maturity, the color of the fruits is light green, in the phase of biological maturity, the peppers become bright red. Fruits are elongated, elongated-conical in shape. Suitable for fresh consumption, roasting and pickling. Sweet pepper variety "Kurtovka" - medium-late ripening.

Sweet pepper "Kurtovka" (Kurtovska kapja)
Sweet pepper "Kurtovka" (Kurtovska kapja). © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya
Sweet pepper "Jacket" cutaway
Sweet pepper "Kurtovka" in the context. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

My impressions of the variety

All the peppers of this variety were born medium-sized (less than 200 g), while almost all the peppers were curved, some even quite strongly. But the harvest was rich. By taste, I can call the “Kurtovka” pepper one of the most appetizing and sweet. It could be eaten straight from the bush and unnoticed for oneself to eat the whole fruit whole, like an apple. The fruits were also thin-walled (up to 5 millimeters), but pleasant firmness, juiciness and strong sweetness compensated for this deficiency.

5. Pepper "Dukat"

Pepper "Ducat» ( Dukat ) - one of the most popular varieties of pepper in Serbia. It is somewhat similar to the Elephant Ear variety, but with a longer growing season and sweeter flesh. Great for baking and fresh. This is a mid-season high-yielding variety. From the emergence of seedlings to the onset of technical ripeness, it takes from 105 to 110 days.

The bushes are powerful, spreading, 60-70 cm high. Fruits are of medium size, weighing 120-130 g, broadly conical, 12-15 cm long, wall thickness 6-8 mm. In technical ripeness, the color of the peppers is light green, in biological ripeness, the fruits become intensely red. You can plant thickened. Suitable for all types of consumption and processing. The culture is thermophilic and needs regular watering.

Dukat sweet pepper
Sweet pepper "Dukat" (Dukat). © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya
Dukat sweet pepper cutaway
Sweet pepper "Dukat" in the context. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

My impressions of the variety

In shape, the peppers of this variety were somewhere between cuboid and conical, since they were slightly narrowed towards the bottom and had a blunt tip. By color in biological ripeness, the fruits were red-orange. This variety can also be called the record holder for sweetness. We used it mainly fresh, and even bright green fruits in technical ripeness were very sweet. The yield of the variety is average.

6. Pepper "Palanichko Miracle"

We would like to tell you about the type of "Miracle Palanichko» ( Palanacico cudo ). I was familiar with this variety earlier and have been planting for more than a year. But since this variety is a real miracle not only in the name of the variety, it is worth mentioning it again.

This pepper is a real giant in terms of fruits, almost each of which is close to 400 g in weight. The fruits are flattened in shape, conical with a pointed tip. In the phase of biological ripeness, they become claret-red. The pulp is fleshy, the walls are very thick - more than 1 cm. The taste is very harmonious and sweet even in the phase of technical ripeness. The yield of this pepper is also very high. Ripening juice - mid-season. The height of the bush is 40-70 cm.

Sweet pepper "Palanichko Miracle" (Palanacico cudo)
Sweet pepper "Palanichko Miracle" (Palanacico cudo). © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

My impressions of the variety

Unlike other sweet pepper varieties that I grow, the Palanichko Miracle variety can be called not just thick-walled, but super thick-walled, because its wall thickness really exceeds 1 cm. The size of each fruit is amazing, because it exceeds the length of 20-25 cm. All summer long, the bush is literally hung with fruits from the crown to the ground.

The taste of these peppers is simply divine, really sweet, good both fresh and baked, and especially incomparable in lecho. None of the familiar gardeners who grew this variety remained indifferent to him. It will undoubtedly become a must-see planting pet every year.

General impressions of Serbian peppers

I can note that the peppers of the Serbian selection, I really showed high resistance to diseases, were very fruitful and tasty. The sweetest varieties seemed to me like “Dukat” and “Kurtovka”, the most interesting in taste is “Somborka”. But the "Elephant Ear" pepper had minimal sweetness, but this was compensated by the highest yield.

Of the minuses of Serbian peppers, I can only note the thinness of most of them. Despite the descriptions of the producers about the meatiness and thickness of some varieties, none of the peppers I grow (except for "Palanichko Miracle") reached or even came close to my favorite varieties with walls one centimeter in section.

Nevertheless, in taste and sweetness, all massive "Serb" peppers were ahead of other cultivars. The only Serbian variety that combines thickness and sweet taste is Palanichko Miracle, which has remained my favorite for several years in a row.

Thanks to the wonderful taste and sweetness, close to fruit, I could not even process the Serbian peppers. I wanted to use them fresh. On this basis, I plan to continue planting these varieties to add to salads and sandwiches. An additional advantage is that these Serbian peppers are not hybrids, like many domestic novelties, but varieties, so I collected my seeds from the best fruits for further cultivation.