The Scoville Scale – If you can’t stand the heat….

April 21, 2015 at 5:28 AM | Posted in Peppers | Leave a comment
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Pepper stand at market in Texas, with Scoville scale.

Pepper stand at market in Texas, with Scoville scale.

The Scoville scale is the measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers or other spicy foods as reported in Scoville heat units (SHU), a function of capsaicin concentration. The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test.

Unlike methods based on high-performance liquid chromatography, the Scoville scale is an empirical measurement dependent on the capsaicin sensitivity of testers and so is not a precise or accurate method to measure capsaicinoid concentration.




Some Jalapenos

Some Jalapenos

15,000,000 – 16,000,000: Pure Capsaicin
2,000,000 – 5,300,000: Pepper Spray
1,400,000 – 2,200,000: Carolina Reaper
1,200,000 – 2,000,000: Trinidad Scorpion
855,000 – 1,041,427: Ghost Pepper
425,000 – 577,000: Chocolate Habanero
350,000 – 577,000: Red Savina Habanero

100,000 – 350,000: Habanero
100,000 – 350,000: Scotch Bonnet
50,000 – 100,000: Thai Pepper
50,000 – 100,000: Chiltepin
50,000 – 100,000: Malagueta Pepper

40,000 – 60,000: Pequin Pepper
30,000 – 50,000: Cayenne Pepper
30,000 – 50,000: Tabasco Pepper
10,000 – 23,000: Serrano Pepper
5,000 – 10,000: Hungarian Wax
2,500 – 8,000: Jalapeño Pepper

1,500 – 2,500: Rocotillo Pepper
1,000 – 1,500: Poblano Pepper
500 – 2,500: Anaheim Pepper
100 – 500: Pimento Pepper
100 – 500: Pepperoncini
0: Bell Pepper


Jamacian Ackee and Saltfish

June 23, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Posted in Food | Leave a comment
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Ackee and saltfish is a traditional Jamaican dish, internationally known as Jamaica’s national dish. It spread to other countries with the Jamaican diaspora.

The ackee fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa (probably on a slave ship) before 1778. It is also known as blighia sapida. The scientific name honors Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793 and introduced it to science. Because parts of the fruit are toxic, there are shipping restrictions when being imported.

To prepare the dish, salt cod (packet salt fish may need to be boiled down and should be free of ‘pink’ mold) is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, Scotch Bonnet peppers (optional), tomatoes, and spices, such as black pepper and pimiento. It can be garnished with crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes, and is usually served as breakfast or dinner alongside breadfruit, hard dough bread, dumplings, fried plantain, or boiled green bananas.

In the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States [this is very questionable], “ackee and saltfish” is eaten widely, although canned ackee is more often used than fresh in some foreign countries. However, people from countries where the fruit is indigenous prefer to eat fresh ackee from the pod as opposed to ackee from a tin. Fresh ackee, if prepared improperly, can be dangerous.


* 1/2 lb. Saltfish (codfish)
* 1 dozen ackees
* 1 small onion
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 sprig tyme
* 1 crushed garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
* 3 slices hot scotch bonnet pepper
* 1 small red sweet pepper
* cooking oil

#1 Soak saltfish in water to remove some of the salt or boil in water for 5-7 minutes.
#2 Clean the ackee. Remove the seeds and all traces of interior red pit from the ackees.
#3 Wash ackees five times
#4 Cover and boil until moderately soft.
#5 Drain, cover, and put aside.
#6 Pick up (flake) the saltfish and remove all bones.
#7 Sauté thinly sliced onions and sweet pepper rings.
#8 Remove half of the fried onions and peppers
#9 Add saltfish and the ackees, and turn the fire/stove up slightly.
#10 Add black pepper
#11 Pour in to serving plate and garnish with remaining onions and pepper slices
#12 Serve with boil banana and/or fried dumplings

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