Using standard the pepper heat scale rating, the Ghost Pepper has been rated 1,041,427 Scoville units
, which is twice as hot as its closest competitor, the Red Savina Habanero.
Although grown in several Northeastern parts of India, it is primarily grown in the Assam state. It has been reported that the fruit is whipped on fence posts to act as a barrier to elephants in India. The fruits are about 2.5” to 3” in length when ripe and a red color. A single ounce of the dried pepper can sell between $8 and $10.
On April 9th of 2009 a 28 year old Indian woman, Anandita Dutta Tamuly, ate 51 Naga Jolokia peppers in two minutes. The accomplishment will earn her a spot in Guinness World Records.
Unripe Habaneros are green. There are several different colors of mature Habaneros but, orange and red are the most common. A fully grown Habanero ranges from about
1” to 2.5” long and is lantern shaped.
Although some believe the Habanero originated in Cuba, the majority opinion is that the Habanero originated in the Yucatán Peninsula and its coastal regions, where it is still very popular today.
The Habanero has a fruity, citrus-like flavor with an intense heat. It has become very popular and is used in many different food dishes, salsas, hot sauces and even to infuse a hot spicy flavor into Tequila.
The Jalapeno (pronounced ha-la-PAY-nyo) was the first pepper ever taken into space (1982) and it may be the most popular pepper. Even people who are not pepper fans usually know of the Jalapeno. These peppers are usually 2 to 3 inches long and about an inch wide. They are green when ripe and red when fully or over-ripe.
Jalapeno pepper lovers enjoy the warm, burning sensation when eaten. The heat intensity for these peppers ranges from 3,000 to 6,000 Scoville Units. Most of the substance that causes the hot sensation (capsaicin) is concentrated in the veins of the peppers and the seeds (which are next to the veins. As a result, when using Jalapenos in a recipe, you can make the heat a little milder by removing the veins and seeds from the peppers (as a suggestion, you should wear latex gloves and not touch your eyes or areas). In fact, Jalapenos have been known to cause skin irritation in some people.
The Jalapeno has been around for thousands of year. It gets its name after Jalapa, Veracruz where the pepper was traditionally grown (however, is not longer grown there). Mexico and the U.S. are the largest producers of Jalapenos. Mexico has over 39,500 acres dedicated to Jalapeno cultivation and the U.S has over 5,500 acres. Texas and New Mexico are the lead producing states in the U.S. In fac, Texas has a special affiliation with the Jalapeno. It has been their official state pepper since 1995.
Mature Jalapeno plants are approximately three feet tall (or a little less). Each plant will produce 25 – 30 peppers. Throughout the growing season, green jalapenos will be picked from a plant several times. As the growing season comes to an end, the jalapeños start to turn red. The red peppers are typically used to make Chipotles (see below).
have found countless uses in North American cuisine. They are canned, sliced, pickled and added to many products such as Nachos, Jelly, Potato Chips, Salsa, Hot Sauce, Vodka, Cornbread, Jalapeno Ketchup, Jalapeno Coleslaw, Jalapeno Cheetos, Jalapeno Pistachios, Chutney, Guacamole, Stews, Soups and many more foods.
In recent years, Jalapeno Jelly
has grown in popularity. Though debatable, Lake Jackson, Texas claims that Jalapeno Jelly originated in their town and marketed starting in 1978.
Perhaps, a more popular Jalapeno appetizer is the Jalapeno Popper. These are common in many restaurants and consist of jalapeno peppers stuffed with cheese, usually cheddar or cream cheese, which are then breaded and deep fried. Wisconsin claims to be the originator of these delicious items, but this claim is “hotly” contested.
No article on the Ja
lapeno would be complete on this website if we didn’t mention Armadillo Eggs. We can't claim any credit for the infamous Armadillo Egg, but for those that are interested, Armadillo Eggs are Jalapenos stuffed with cheese & bacon, then rolled in Bisquick and baked. Armadillo Eggs became popular during the 1990’s and are an excellent appetizer. (Armadillos are mammals, so no real eggs.) Just do an Internet search using your favorite search engine and you will find plenty of Armadillo Egg recipes to use for your next cookout or party.