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


One of America’s Favorites – Jalapeño Peppers

May 6, 2013 at 7:46 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 1 Comment
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The jalapeño or jalapeño (pron.: /ˌhæləˈpiːnjoʊ/ or /ˌhæləˈpeɪnjoʊ/, Spanish: [xalaˈpeɲo]) is a medium-sized chili pepper. A mature

Immature Jalapeños that are still in the plant pot

Immature Jalapeños that are still in the plant pot

jalapeño fruit is 2–3½ inches (5–9 cm) long and is commonly picked and consumed while still green, but occasionally it is allowed to fully ripen and turn crimson red. It is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum originating in Mexico, which is a bush that grows 2–4 feet (60–120 cm) tall. It is named after Xalapa, Veracruz, where it was traditionally cultivated. About 160 square kilometres (40,000 acres) are dedicated for the cultivation in Mexico, primarily in the Papaloapan river basin in the north of the state of Veracruz and in the Delicias, Chihuahua, area. Jalapeños are cultivated on smaller scales in Jalisco, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Chiapas. Jalapeño juice is often used as a remedy for seasonal allergies and cardiovascular problems.


The jalapeño is variously named in Mexico as huachinango and chile gordo. The cuaresmeño closely resembles the jalapeño. The seeds of a cuaresmeño have the heat of a jalapeño, but the flesh has a mild flavor close to a green bell pepper.
Jalapeño is of Nahuatl and Spanish origin. The Spanish suffix -eño signifies that the noun originates in the place modified by the suffix, similar to the English -(i)an. The jalapeño is named after the Mexican town of Xalapa (also spelled Jalapa). Xalapa is itself of Nahuatl derivation, formed from roots xālli [‘ʃaː.l.ːi] “sand” and āpan [‘aː.pan] “water place.”
As of 1999, 5,500 acres (22 km2) in the United States were dedicated to the cultivation of jalapeños. Most jalapeños are produced in southern New Mexico and western Texas.


Jalapeños are a pod type of Capsicum. The growing period is 70–80 days. When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three feet (75 to 100 cm) tall. Typically, a plant produces 25 to 35 pods. During a growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. As the growing season ends, jalapeños start to turn red, which may make them less desirable. Jalapeños thrive in a number of soil types and temperatures, provided they have adequate water. Once picked, individual peppers may turn to red of their own accord. The peppers can be eaten green or red.

Jalapeños have 2,500 – 10,000 Scoville heat units. Compared to other chilis, the jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. The heat, caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the membrane (placenta) surrounding the seeds. Handling fresh jalapeños will cause skin irritation. Some handlers wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapeños. When preparing jalapeños, hands should not come in contact with the eyes, as this leads to painful burning and redness.



Serving styles:

Ripened jalapeños, red in color.

Ripened jalapeños, red in color.

*Stuffed jalapeños are hollowed out fresh jalapeños (served cooked or raw) that are stuffed, often with a mix containing seafood, meat, poultry, and/or cheese.
*Pickled jalapeños, sliced or whole, are often served hot or cold on top of nachos, which are tortilla chips with melted cheese on top, a traditional Tex-Mex dish
*Chipotles are smoked, ripe jalapeños.
*Jalapeño jelly can be prepared using jelling methods.
*Jalapeño peppers are often muddled and served in mixed drinks.
*Jalapeño poppers, also called armadillo eggs, are an appetizer; jalapeños are stuffed with cheese, usually cheddar or cream cheese, breaded or wrapped in bacon, and cooked.
*Chiles toreados are fresh jalapeños that are sauteed in oil until the skin is blistered all over. They are sometimes served with melted cheese on top.
*Texas toothpicks are jalapeños and onions shaved into straws, lightly breaded, and deep fried.
*Chopped jalapeños are a common ingredient in many salsas and chilis
*Jalapeño slices are commonly served in Vietnamese Pho.

It’s All About The Heat!

July 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM | Posted in Food, vegetables | 1 Comment
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Good and informative article on Peppers from

Types of Hot Peppers

Do you want to add a little kick to your meal? Hot peppers are terrific way to spice up any dish. They come in all shapes, sizes and

Scotch bonnet chili peppers

colors but many people don’t know how hot each type of pepper is. You don’t want to add peppers when cooking unless you know their hotness level or you could end up with an inedible meal. Here’s a guide to the different types of popular peppers.

Types of peppers

Invented by Wilbur Scoville, the Scoville Heat Index ranks peppers in order from mildest to hottest. It starts with zero being the mildest and goes over 1,000,000 to indicate the hottest peppers. Though there are dozens of different kinds of peppers, here’s information on some of the more widely used types.

Bell pepper

Bell Peppers, which can be red, yellow, green or orange, aren’t hot peppers. They are very common sweet peppers. Since this type of pepper has no heat, its Scoville Heat Index is zero. You can cook bell peppers in a variety of different ways, however don’t expect this type of pepper to add spice to your food.

Cherry pepper

Also known as pimento peppers, cherry peppers are heart-shaped and are about four inches long and three inches wide. These peppers are actually very mild, scoring about a 500 on the Scoville Heat Index. Cherry peppers are perhaps best known to be the red filling that can typically be found inside of olives.

Anaheim pepper

Another mild type of pepper is the Anaheim pepper. This pepper is usually maroon in color and has a long, skinny body. While the Anaheim pepper usually has a Scoville Heat Index around 1,000, some varieties can have a rating as high as 5,000. Relative to the rest of this list, this pepper is not very hot.

Jalapeño pepper

The jalapeño is one of the most common types of peppers in the United States. Many people like this type of pepper because of its spicy yet not overwhelming taste. Jalapeño are usually either red or green and are about two to three inches long. Their Scoville Heat Index is typically around 5,000, however jalapeños can range anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000. These peppers, when used sparingly, add just the right amount of spicy flavor to most Mexican dishes. Many people also deep fry jalapeño which are stuffed with cheese for a tasty yet spicy appetizer.

Serrano pepper

The Serrano pepper is similar to the jalapeño in its look, but this pepper is much hotter. On the Scoville Heat Index, the Serrano Pepper can be between 10,000 and 25,000. This pepper is usually small (around two inches) and green in color. As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the Serrano pepper, the hotter it will taste.

Cayenne pepper

The Cayenne pepper is another hot pepper (between 25,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville Heat Index) that is popular with those looking to add heat to food. Red in color, the Cayenne pepper is generally dried and used in powder form. Additionally, this pepper has been used in natural medicines for hundreds of years due to reported healing attributes.

Tabasco pepper

As you may have guessed, the Tabasco pepper is used to make Tabasco sauce. If you’ve ever tasted how hot Tabasco sauce is, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Tabasco pepper has a Scoville Heat Index of between 30,000 and 60,000. The actual pepper is less than two inches long and can be green, red, yellow or orange in color.

Thai pepper

Grown in Thailand and neighboring countries, the Thai pepper is a type of pepper that can be classified as “very hot”. With a Scoville Heat Index of between 50,000 and 100,000, these peppers are sure to leave your taste buds wanting relief. The Thai pepper is one of the smallest peppers, measuring in at less than an inch. It’s used in many spicy Thai dishes at restaurants in the US.

Rocoto pepper

While Rocoto peppers look somewhat like bell peppers, it can be dangerous to get the two mixed up. While bell peppers aren’t hot at all, the Rocoto pepper is extremely hot. Between 100,000 and 250,000 on the Scoville Heat Index, this pepper is about the size of a bell pepper but is rounder and is typically only red or green. Some people use this pepper to make very spicy sauces.

Habanero chili pepper

Of hot peppers that are commonly used, the Habanero chili is recognized as the hottest. This pepper, which can be any color from green to yellow to pink, is usually only around three centimeters in length. However, do not let the small size fool you – the Habanero chili can pack a punch! The Scoville Heat Index for the Habanero chili can range from 150,000 to 350,000.

Ghost pepper

Also known as Naga Jolokia, this pepper is literally the hottest pepper in the world. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the Ghost pepper in 2006 after reports surfaced that this pepper has a Scoville Heat Index of over 1,000,000. If you get your hand on a Ghost pepper, be sure to be extremely careful because one seed from this pepper will have your mouth burning for up to thirty minutes.

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