[Gardening] Got Hot Chile Peppers?
Have you ever had the idea to grow hot peppers in your garden this season. Do you know which ones are hotter than others. Checkout this article on a variety of chile peppers and their characteristics.
There’s a lot to love in these colorful warm-weather vegetables: The active ingredient in chile peppers is used in ointments that soothe sore muscles and in thug-repelling pepper spray. Another good use: Chile powder is fed to captive flamingoes to keep their feathers pink. But the most popular reason chile pepper aficionados love them is for their flavor. There’s plenty of diversity in fruit shapes, colors and sizes and the way the plants grow. And, of course, there’s diversity in the heat among various types of chiles.
The heat in a chile pepper is found along the crosswalls and is quantified using the Scoville scale, which measures how many units of dilution it takes to eliminate a chile’s heat altogether. A sampling of some of your favorite peppers: orange habanero, 210,000; tabasco, 120,000; jalapeno, 25,000; Long Slim cayenne, 23,000; pasilla, 5,500; serrano, 4,000; bell, 0. The heat of a chile used to be determined by taste, but today pepper researchers use high-performance liquid chromatography. It “tastes” the peppers and analyzes the components that produce heat.
Depending on variety, the orange habanero is among the hottest of peppers, registering 210,000 Scoville units. Red habaneros typically average 150,000 units. The mildest pepper, 0 on the Scoville scale, is the bell pepper, which most people don’t realize is a part of the chile pepper family. The heat of a pepper depends on more than genetics, however. Drought and high temperatures can make a pepper hotter, while mild temperatures and plenty of moisture render it milder.
Often called “the mother of all chiles,” the chiltepin is a wild chile that grows in the Southwest and Mexico. Plant breeders capitalize on the chiltepin’s genetic makeup to develop disease resistance and plant hardiness in new chile pepper varieties. Today, there are hundreds for gardeners to choose from.
For more information visit Hot Chile Facts
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