The Rundown on Hot Peppers

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We’re Produce Proud, and today we’re here to drop some hot pepper knowledge!

Most of us have probably experienced this scenario: We’re either out to dinner or making a dish at home, and want to have some spice in our dish.

Since some of us can take more spice than others can, it’s good to know which peppers we can or can’t take. Some of us struggle to get through a single jalapeno, while others think a ghost pepper only feels like a moderate spring day. Whatever our spice tolerance is, some of the peppers we consume have more to them than we’d expect!

Ghost peppers are easily one of the hottest peppers in the world. It’s been said that they’re about 100 times hotter than the hottest jalapenos! The ghost pepper comes from India, where the people there put it to good use. It’s so hot that they rub ghost peppers on walls and fences to prevent wild elephants from entering certain areas. To a human, a ghost pepper is incredibly hot, but when taken in very moderate amounts as an ingredient in a hot sauce, it adds a delicious kick to anything you want spicy!

We’ve all heard of (and a lot of us tasted) the habanero pepper. One of the hotter peppers you can find in the average grocery store, it’s very unique. Coming in a wide variety of colors (orange, red, brown, white, and pink), the habanero will throw a lot of punches. While most people like chocolate that melts in their mouth, the Chocolate Habanero (brown) just melts your mouth, while the White Habanero delivers some nice, fruity heat.

The cayenne pepper is a pretty common one here in the US. Unlike most peppers, it is ground up and sprinkled on food to add a bit of a punch to whatever you’re having. Cayenne peppers also have a unique pain relieving ability! The same substance in the peppers that gives them their spice also does a good job at relieving pain and helping you feel better, all while your mouth is lit on fire.

Jalapeno peppers: one of the most common peppers we see and eat! Often found on pizzas and used to make delicious jalapeno poppers and salsas, jalapenos are delicious, without bringing too much heat. They hold the distinction as the first pepper to travel to space! In the 1980s, NASA started using jalapenos as food for astronauts that went to space aboard shuttles, officially making jalapenos a main ingredient in spicy space food.

There are a ton of different peppers out there, each packing a punch of its own (some stronger than others). Hopefully this quick hot pepper rundown will help you know which peppers to have with dinner, and which ones to use to keep wild elephants out of your yard!

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