Gamba Hot

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Gamba Hot
Classification C. annuum
Type chili
Fruit color red
Fruit shape conical, slim
Fruit size small
Heat level very hot
Scoville Heat Units (SHU) 15,000-30,000?
Maturity midseason
Variety type heirloom, open-pollinated
Country Israel or Africa


This is a different Gamba pepper, with very hot flavor. Pods are slender and small, turn from green to red, about 2" long. The seeds that we received from Seed Savers Heritage Farm, Decorah, Iowa (IA SSE HF) are likely crossed, as we got at least three different types of peppers, from thin and very hot cayenne to medium hot slightly thicker and larger pods. We labelled this pepper 'Gamba Hot', to differentiate from the sweet Gamba pepper vended by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds .

Seed source:

Seed Savers Heritage Farm, Decorah, Iowa (IA SSE HF) 13 / Edward A. Spaans of Grand Rapids, Michigan (MI SP E)

Year grown: 2014

Location: Zone 7b, PNW, Anmore, BC, Canada (760 ft above sea level)


  • The exact origin of this pepper is unknown, but according to Seed Savers Heritage Farm, Decorah, Iowa (IA SSE HF) description in the SSE Yearbook, it is an ethnic variety from Israel or Africa. One translation of "gamba" (as used in cooking) means 'sweet red pepper'.
  • Some SSE members list is a hot, and others list is as sweet, so it is possible there are different varieties out there with the same generic name 'Gamba'. Sweet (cheese pepper) variant is offered by some commercial vendors in North America.
  • First offered in the Seed Savers 1991 Yearbook by Robert Bell of Coolville, Ohio (OH BE R), listed in PEPPER/SWEET section.
  • SSE PEPPER 343.

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Seed Availability

Year Commercial Vendors Seed Savers Yearbook (Member listings) Seeds of Diversity (Member listings)
2015 . .
2014 . .
2013 Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
2 .
2012 2 .
2011 1 .
2010 2 .
2009 1 .
2008 2 .

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