Mad hatter peppers originated in South America, and are popular in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. It is a hybrid of the Bishop’s Crown pepper bred to be resistant to disease and insects and to be more prolific. In 2017 it won the All-America Selection Award (AAS), meaning that it was rigorously tested and shown to perform well all across North America.

The mad hatter pepper is similar in flavor to bishop’s crown, however, it is significantly less spicy. It gets its name from its distinct flattened disc shape.

How hot?

500-1,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Scientific name

Capsicum baccatum


Mad hatter peppers are sweet, floral, and citrusy-tasting. They are very similar to bishop’s crown, but milder.


These peppers are popular in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine and can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled. They are great chopped up on a salad, on pizzas, or stuffed with cheese or garlic.

Where to buy mad hatter peppers

Mad hatter peppers are hard to come by in the US, so you won’t find them stocked on grocery store shelves. The easiest way to get them for most people is by growing them at home from seed. Luckily, they are prolific so you will have them all summer long — and they’re great for preserving.

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Seeds to grow at home

These peppers are easy to grow all across the United States and North America. Peppers love sunshine and warm weather, so they are best grown in the summer.