Pepper corking: What are those lines on peppers?

Have you ever noticed those funny white or brown lines on peppers? It is called pepper corking. The white lines are actually stretch marks that appear when the pepper grows too quickly in one direction, causing the skin to tear.

This happens because of a lack of nutrients or water. If you see these white lines on your pepper, it’s time to stop watering them so much.

let’s take Jalapeño peppers… Some minor jalapeño skin cracking is typical on these peppers and is known as jalapeño corking. 

What exactly is corking on jalapeño peppers, and does it have an impact on the quality?

There are many different things that contribute to the taste of a jalapeno pepper such as its colour, shape and size. But did you know that the texture of the pepper’s skin can also impact its flavour?

so let’s explore what the white lines are on peppers:.

pepper corking snippet image

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Table of Contents

What is Corking?

Corking is a condition that can affect all peppers in which small cracks form on the surface of the pepper. These cracks are often mistaken for blemishes or scars, but they are actually a natural occurrence on most jalapeños. Jalapeño corking is not harmful to eat and will not affect the quality of the pepper. However, it can sometimes be an indicator of improper growing conditions.

When you notice skin cracking in this way, it simply indicates that the pepper has to stretch to accommodate the fast growth of the fruit. When there is a lot of rain or any other source of water (soaker hoses), as well as plenty of sunshine, the pepper goes into a growth spurt, causing corking. Many different sorts of hot peppers are subject to this corking process, although not sweet pepper cultivars.

jalapeños corking

What’s different about corked peppers?

Aside from the obvious, corked peppers are supposed to be sweeter and far hotter. While it is true in some cases, we have read that this is a myth, with no impact on capsaicin content or taste.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, corking is viewed as a flaw, and it makes perfect sense. Would you ingest anything with ugly brown stretch marks all over it if you don’t know what it is? Most likely not. According to reports, in Mexico, South, and Central America, corking is associated with quality and tends to bring higher prices at local markets.

Does corking mean the pepper is maturing?

This is typically the case. We have observed numerous juvenile green jalapeños develop significant symptoms of corking before reaching their red matured colour. It’s definitely a good predictor of when it’ll be time to pick them.

Learn how to grow your own chilli peppers in a blog that we wrote.

red jalapeños

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat a corked jalapeno?

Yes, you can eat a corked jalapeno. The skin cracking does not mean the pepper is bad or unsafe to eat. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! The cracks are simply an indicator that the pepper has to stretch to accommodate the rapid growth of the fruit.

Is corking a sign of over-fertilization?

No, corking is not a sign of over-fertilization. It’s actually a natural occurrence on most jalapeños and other types of hot red peppers when they get plenty of water and sunshine.

What causes corking in peppers?

Corking in peppers is caused by several factors, including rapid growth due to abundant rain or water, and plenty of sunshine.

rain can cause pepper corking

What are striations on a pepper?

Striations on a pepper are actually stretch marks that appear when the pepper grows too quickly in one direction, causing the skin to tear. This happens because of a lack of nutrients or overwatering.

Should you wear gloves when picking peppers?

Almost all respondents responded in the affirmative, recommending that you wear them at all times, even before cutting the capsaicin bombs. However, one source advised only wearing gloves once you’ve cut into the peppers and exposed their seeds and ribs.

Why are my jalapeños turning black?

It’s possible that your jalapeños are turning black because of the cold weather. This is a natural occurrence and does not mean that the pepper is bad or unsafe to eat.

jalapeños turning black

What are the other factors in determining hotness?

There are several different things that contribute to the heat of jalapeños, including time of harvest and variety (whether it’s an immature or mature fruit). Other than genetics, environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity play key roles in how hot your bell pepper will be. When you grow them yourself at home, growing conditions are 100% controllable.


So now you know a little bit more about what those lines on your peppers mean. Next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t be afraid to pick up a few jalapeños with corking – they’ll likely have a nicer flavour than their non-corked counterparts!

Do you want to learn how you can preserve your own peppers? Follow an article that we wrote that covers this. 

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

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