These Peppers Will Set You On Fire

Chili peppers. You either love em or hate em. For some, the idea of a mouth that feels as if it's on fire, watery eyes, a runny nose, and even perspiration, is understandably not appealing at all. But for some, that burning sensation is anything but a nuisance. Some like that burning sensation and they acknowledge that the peppers help bring out a wonderful array of flavors in certain dishes and can turn any bland, dull meal into a hot one!

Chili peppers have been used for centuries and are still enjoyed today. Events in local communities, farmer's markets, and festivals have even held contests to see who can eat the most chili peppers in one sitting, and the only thing to help calm their fiery mouths between peppers is a glass of milk. It can be used in just about any food dish that needs to be spiced up: tacos, burritos, burgers, hot dogs, anything!

Contrary to popular belief, the hottest part of a pepper lies in the placenta, the white parts that run down the middle and the sides of the pepper and hold the seeds. Because the seeds are in such close proximity to the placenta, the seeds are also hot. The substance in the pepper that causes this burning sensation is called a capsaicinoid. Capsaicinoid content is measured in parts per million, which are then converted to Scoville heat units. Here are three pepper varieties, two of which will make your eyes water and your mouth burn intensely and one that is not so bad.

Habanero
Quite possibly the hottest pepper on the face of the planet is the Habanero pepper. Habanero's Scoville heat unit measurement is anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000. Its most common color is orange to red, but it has also been seen dressed in pink, brown, and white. It is believed to have originated from South America and is named after the Cuban city of La Habana.

Scotch bonnet
Scotch bonnet is of the same species as the Habanero pepper, Capsicum. It is also one of the hottest peppers in the world and measures 100,000 to 250,000 Scoville heat units. This pepper resembles a Tam o'shanter, also known as a Scotch bonnet, and is found mainly in the Caribbean islands. It is most often used in Caymanian, Jamaican, and Caribbean recipes.

Poblano
The Scoville heat units for this pepper are at 100,000 to 150,000. It is a much milder pepper, compared to the Habanero and Scotch bonnet. It originated in Mexico and is one of the most popular peppers grown. When growing, a poblano is usually a very dark green color and then turns into a very dark red.

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About The Author, Rachel Yoshida
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