Maryland’s Own Fish Peppers

Baywater Farms Fish Peppers

Baywater Farms fish peppers aren’t just another delicious product of a Maryland summer—they’re a triumph. As part of our efforts to return historical crops to family farm, we tracked down the seeds that grow into gorgeous, green and red fish peppers. Fish peppers were historically used to season seafood dishes throughout the Eastern shore, but gradually went to the brink of extinction. We have revived the fish pepper and know that you’ll love the spicy taste of this pepper’s comeback.

The flavor of the fish pepper is warm and spicy, like a flavorful cayenne pepper packed with the heat of the summer sun. Our heirloom fish peppers are shaped like chili peppers but range in color from a creamy white, to white mottled with green, to a bright red shade. The fish pepper found its way to Maryland farmers by way of Caribbean ships in the late-1800s. The name of the fish pepper comes from its regional use in seafood dishes, but faced a lack of buyers when the late-20th century Chesapeake Bay fishing industry declined.

In the 1940s, a seasoned Pennsylvania farmer gave his collection of pepper seeds to another man in exchange for honeybees, and they were saved for decades by the recipient. In 1995, a food historian, and that man’s grandson, brought them back into the market. Instead of genetically-modified seeds that offer high yields and perfect produce, the fish pepper offers a beautiful heirloom flavor that isn’t touched by pesticides.

What We Offer

Baywater Farms hand-picks each fish pepper and packs them in 12 count clamshells and 10 lb. boxes. When you purchase this hot and delicious pepper, you aren’t just purchasing a new way to flavor your dinner, you’re purchasing a bite of Mid-Atlantic history.

Take A Bite

Perfect Pairings

Heirloom fish peppers, when ivory in color, can be used to flavor cream-based sauces without any discoloration. White fish peppers and red fish peppers are both excellent when paired with seafood in stews, pasta dishes, or soups.


While fish peppers can be used when ivory, for the maximum flavor and heat, they should be picked when they are a rosy red. At this stage, their flavor brings a bright cayenne-like heat but won’t linger in your mouth.


Store harvested fish peppers like you would any other variety of pepper, like our shishito peppers. Place unwashed, or washed and dried, fish peppers in your refrigerator in a plastic bag. Moisture will make your fish peppers spoil more quickly, so their longevity can be increased by storing them in a location without much moisture. These peppers can also be pickled or canned to make them last longer.

Our Farm

Baywater Farms is passionate about cultivating non-GMO, fish peppers with love and care in the same soil that our great-grandparents tilled. On our sixth-generation family farm, all of our non-GMO, heirloom, and sustainable produce is grown using high-quality seeds that yield gorgeous, colorful, and delicious results. Maryland’s own fish pepper is the perfect example of our determination to farm using modern farming techniques with a deep respect for history. We use ecologically-friendly farming methods and are dedicated to preserving the provenance of our seeds, re-introducing historical crops, and supplying everyone in the area with locally grown produce with a conscience.

Find Our Fish Peppers

You can find our fresh, non-GMO fish peppers in national grocery store chains, produce distribution companies, roadside farm stands, local farm-to-table restaurants, CSAs, and farmers’ markets. To learn more about ordering our fresh local produce, click here. Our excellent sustainably grown, non-GMO produce speaks for itself, and we know your taste buds will love to listen!

Fish Peppers from Baywater Farms

Baywater Farms is a sixth-generation family-owned and operated farm servicing Ocean City, Annapolis, Laurel, Salisbury, and the Eastern Shore. Baywater Farms is capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. Baywater Farms is about more than just hydroponic lettuce—we also grow heirloom cherry tomatoes, eggplant, hydroponic microgreens, custom grows, fall squash, Maryland’s own fish peppers, and more. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce possible.