Peppers, Peppers and More Peppers!

This article is courtesy Lake Tahoe Markets it is not mine. The author of this article is at the bottom. However, if you do want to know something about peppers feel free to leave me a message via speak pipe  or email me @ with PEPPERS in the subject line, I’ll get back to you soon as I can.

Courtsey Lake Tahoe Markets

As I do have a vast knowledge of peppers as I love to eat them.

There are so many types of peppers. Some are easy on the taste buds; others are a mild form of torture. While technically, peppers and chiles don’t exactly bring the sweet, juicy flavors you expect from berries in the summertime. Instead, they challenge our taste buds to live on the edge.

Peppers thrive in the summertime when they can soak up the heat and enjoy dry weather. They like to live in heat, produce heat, and bring the heat to our kitchens.

Bell peppers are sweet and they can be eaten raw with hummus (or other dips) or cooked into stir-fries. They’re available in red, green, orange, and yellow. Sometimes they’re dried and ground into paprika. 0 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Shoshito peppers are often roasted and blistered. Once charred and drizzled with oil or sauce, they make a great appetizer on their own. But beware, eating them is a gamble. It’s a mostly tame pepper, but there is usually one spicy shishito in the bunch. You just don’t know which one until you bite into it. SW50 to 100 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Banana peppers are another sweet pepper often used on deli sandwiches. They’re also good in salads (you’ll usually see them in antipasto at Italian joints) and on pizza. They have a little more tang to them than bell peppers. 0 to 500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Sweet Italian peppers (pepperoncini) are often confused with banana peppers, the two look and taste very similar and can almost always be used interchangeably. Pepperoncinis just bring a little more tang. They aren’t spicy.  100 to 500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Pimento peppers, often referred to as cherry peppers, are a key ingredient in pimento cheese. A great candidate when stuffing peppers, as they not spicy and fall in second to the lowest tier of the Scoville scale. 100 to 500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Poblano peppers have mild to medium heat, one step up from the banana peppers and pimentos. When fresh, roasting is a popular cooking method. They’re also the pepper of choice in chile relleno.  1,000 to 1,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Courtesy Aladay Organic Farms

When you see canned green chiles, they’re likely Anaheim peppers. They’re lower on the heat scale than habaneros, more comparable to a poblano. But there is a hotter strain of the Anaheim pepper that originates in New Mexico: hatch chiles. 500 to 2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) One of the more tastier chilies on the market they were specifically designed by New Mexico state to grow in the area of Hatch New Mexico.

Just a bump up from Anaheim and poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers start to bring the heat. As one of the more common peppers to cook with, they go great in everything from chilis and soups to salads. A chipotle pepper is simply a smoked jalapeno pepper. 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Fresno peppers are similar to jalapeno peppers, but a bit spicier, and sweeter. They are glossy, firm, and medium thickness in flesh.  Great for Latin dishes like stews, soups, dips, or fire roasted. 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Yellow chili peppers are sweet peppers that can range from very mild to hot. They have thick flesh, bright yellow in color, smooth texture, and shiny surface. They can be stuffed and cooked, roasted, seared on the grill, pickled, or chopped up raw for salads and crudites.  100 to 15,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Serrano peppers are hotter than jalapenos but not as hot as habaneros. Like jalapenos, they’re sometimes minced and used in salsa and guacamole.  8,000 to 22,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Habaneros smoke jalapenos on the heat scale. Under the ghost pepper, they’re one of the hottest widely available peppers. Underneath all that heat, they have hints of sweetness. 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Courtesy Aladay Organic Farms

Ghost pepper are not as lethal as the Carolina Reaper, but they’re comparable to the Komodo dragon pepper. Lose a bet and the punishment just might be eating a ghost pepper. 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Carolina Reaper are almost the closest you can get to eating pepper spray. It’s not widely available. 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Dragon’s Breath peppers are arguably the hottest pepper there is. It’s also one of the smallest peppers. They pack so much heat into about a half inch that they’re not commercially available at all and not recommended for eating. Please noteno official testing lab has backed up its claim to be 2,480,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

The Scoville heat unit scale rates how spicy peppers and pepper-based products (like hot sauce and chili powders) are. It starts at zero units with the bell pepper and goes up to 16 million units, which is pure capsaicin. Most commercially available peppers don’t crack the 300,000 to 500,000 range, but a few of them are in the millions.

The exact nutrition of each type of pepper of course varies, but generally speaking, many are a great source of vitamin C. Many also provide a healthy amount of vitamin A. Capsaicin itself, the key element in peppers that makes them spicy, has been used medicinally for ages. However, peppers are also part of the nightshade family which is associated with inflammation. Those with autoimmune conditions may be advised to avoid them.

Peppers are used in everything from sauces and condiments to spices and powders. You’ll use these ingredients in dips, jellies, soups, chili, stews, stir-fries, salsa, and so much more. Some peppers are stuffed or charred and served as appetizers, while others are minced up so fine you might never know they’re there.

— Jessica Gavin

Aaron Aveiro
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