Facing heaven pepper
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The facing heaven pepper (Capsicum annuum var. conoides; Chinese name: 朝天椒; pinyin: cháotiānjiāo, also known as 指天椒; pinyin: zhǐtiānjiāo meaning 'skyward-pointing chili pepper'), is a cone-shaped, medium-hot chili pepper, between 3 and 6 cm in length, 1 to 2 cm in diameter at the base, and with very thin skin.
A cultivar commonly used in Sichuan cuisine, it is called the facing heaven pepper because the pepper grows with the fruit pointing upwards, rather than downwards, as is normal in other pepper plants. The plant's upright growing habit is typical of "ornamental" peppers.
Because of its attractive appearance, the dried chili is often added to dishes whole. Although the chilli is often too hot to be consumed raw, it can be lightly cooked in oil to produce a milder equivalent.
This dried chili pepper is described as a "pantry staple" in the Sichuan province of China by Fuchsia Dunlop in her cookbook Land of Plenty. She describes it as very fragrant and moderately hot (much less hot than tiny Thai chilies).
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