Peppers Demystified

by on December 28, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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Chili powder is a blend of seasonings that usually includes ground chilies, cumin, oregano, and garlic. It is usually only mildly hot – and is used in things such as Chili con Carne. On the other hand, ground chili is 100% chilies and may be mild to fiery hot, depending on the variety.

The heat of peppers is measured in what is called Scoville Units. A Scoville unit is determined by how much water is needed to calm the burn caused by the heat.

Burn is, however, misleading. Peppers to not really burn. They cause a chemical reaction in the body and its understanding of what it is tasting. They say that eating a lot of peppers does not hurt your body.

Most of the heat of a pepper is contained in the seeds and membrane of the pepper. There is also a capsacin gland near the stem of the pepper in which the heat is concentrated.

The flesh is usually what is eaten and is usually not too hot.

When cutting/disecting a pepper, it is advisable to wear gloves, as the oil from the pepper will cause extreme discomfort if you wipe your eye or use the bathroom after touching the pepper. OUCH.

HERE is another good page on peppers for you to read.

At the lower end of the Scoville Scale are peppers such as Bell Peppers and Pepperoncini Peppers. These measure about 200-800 units.
Others in this range:
The Spanish Guindilla Verde
Basque Fryer (a.k.a. Piment d’Anglet, Doux Long des Landes)
Spanish Guernica

Next is the Poblano, which is about 1000-1500 units. When these are dried, they are renamed Ancho Peppers, but keep the same amount of heat. Usually the skin is blackened over a grill and the burnt pepper placed into a plastic bag. After a few minutes, the tough outer skin peels off easily leaving a tasty meat behind. Poblanos are frequently used for Chili Rellenos.
Others in this range:
Hatch Chili Peppers
Chilaca (a.k.a. Pasilla)
Hot Banana
Pimiento de Padrón
Hungarian Pimento

Jalapeño Peppers are next and can range from 2,500-8,000 units. When they ripen they turn red and are used to make Siracha sauce. If they are smoked and dried they are called chipotle peppers. These are quite flavorful and are used in medium salsas.
Others in this range:
Aji Rojo
Hot Cherry

Serarano peppers range from 10,000 – 25,000 and pack a lot of flavor. This is frequently used in hot salsas.
Others in this range:

Thai Chili Peppers range from 100,000 to 250,000 units.
Others in this range:

Scotch Bonnet Peppers range from 100,000 to 350,000 units.
Others in this range:

New on the scene are ghost peppers, which range from 800,000 to 1 million units
Others in this range:
Carolina Reaper: 1.5 to 2.2 million units
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion: 1.2 to 2 million units

Other Pages: Epicurious :: Miss Vickie

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