Region of Origin

Commodity:

Chile Peppers

Origin

Chile peppers are in the nightshade plant family along with potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, and spice levels. Hot chile peppers produce capsaicin, a complex compound responsible for making peppers seem “hot”. The amount of capsaicin in a pepper depends on the variety, but is also majorly influenced by growing conditions and maturity...

Other Names

Chili, Chilli

Health Benefits & Nutrition

Chile peppers are a great source of vitamins C, E and A, as well as fiber. Colorful varieties may be rich in carotenoids or other antioxidants. Chile peppers are most prized for their capsaicin. The capsaicin in chile peppers is thought to decrease inflammation, increase metabolism, and lower cholesterol.

Varieties

Ají Cachucha Pepper

AKA: Ají Dulce, Ajicito, Ají Gustoso

Description

MILD: Ají cachucha peppers are botanically part of the same species as habaneros, but unlike their fiery sibling they should only pack a very mild spice. These squat, lumpy peppers are shaped like a cap or UFO and can range in color from green to orange, and sometimes even red. They have a complex flavor that is sweet, fruity, smoky, and grassy. Ají cachucha are very important in Caribbean cooking, especially Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban cuisines – notably as a staple part of Puerto Rican sofrito sauce.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Ají cachucha peppers are perfect for adding a fruity, habanero-like flavor without the heat. Make sure you check the heat level before cooking, as it can vary from lot to lot, and vary volumes accordingly.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Anaheim Pepper

AKA: New Mexico Chiles, Magdalena, California Chiles

Description

MILD: Anaheim chiles are a variety of chile from New Mexico. The variety was brought from New Mexico to Anaheim, CA in the late 1800s, giving it its common name. They are similar to the popular Hatch chile, which is an Anaheim chile grown in a particular region of New Mexico prized for its extra kick of heat. Anaheim chiles are medium-length, slender, and tapered with a pointed tip. Their flavor is grassy and refreshing with a mild heat (about 8x less than a jalapeño). For fresh consumption, Anaheims are usually harvested when young and light green. When picked green and dried, they are known as “seco del norte”. When picked mature (red) and dried, they are known as “chili colorado”.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The mild heat of Anaheims makes them perfect for stuffing, pickling, or as a substitute in any recipe calling for bell peppers or poblanos. Their medium-thick walls make them a good candidate for roasting and peeling.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Bhut Jolokia Pepper

AKA: Bhut Jolokia (India), Bih Jolokia (Assam), Naga Jolokia, Ghost Pepper

Description

SUPER-HOT: Ghost peppers (their common name in India, bhut jolokia, means “ghost chile”) are a super-hot pepper that held the title of hottest pepper in the world from 2007 to 2011. It registers with more than 1 million SHU on the Scoville scale. Hailing from Northeastern India and Bangladesh, these 2- to 3-inch-long, thin-walled, wrinkled peppers pack a building heat that can take 30 to 40 minutes to subside. Their flavor is said to be sweet and fruity, if you can taste past the burning spice. Ghost peppers grown commercially are usually red, but they can also be found in a range of colors.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Don’t touch ghost peppers with bare hands – even whole, uncut peppers can cause skin irritation! Ghost peppers are best used sparingly in hot sauces and curries where intense heat is desired. They can also be dried to make super-hot chile flakes. Make sure to keep whole milk on hand to reduce the heat if you need to taste a ghost pepper.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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HOLLAND
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Fair
USA
Fair
Fair
Fair

Caribe Pepper

AKA: Chile Guero (Mexico)

Description

MEDIUM: The caribe is a spicy, petite yellow chile that originated in the Caribbean. Caribes are a wax-type chile (called “wax” because of their shiny appearance) with medium heat greater than a jalapeño, and close to that of a serrano. They are most often used in Caribbean and Mexican cuisine.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Caribe chiles are a great substitute for jalapeño or serrano. They are also good candidates for roasting.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Fair
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Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair

Carolina Reaper Pepper

Description

SUPER-HOT: The Carolina Reaper holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of hottest pepper in the world with a whopping 1,500,000 units on the Scoville scale (compared to a habanero’s 100,000). Debuted in 2013 by a specialty pepper grower in South Carolina, the Carolina Reaper is a small, bright red pepper only 1-2 inches wide with bumpy skin and a distinct pointy tail. Their flavor is said to be fruity, but the eating experience is dominated by its “face-melting” heat.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Use gloves when handling Carolina Reapers to avoid painful skin irritation, even when whole. These peppers should be used exceptionally sparingly. Keep a glass of whole milk on hand to help alleviate the heat should you need to taste the pepper directly.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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HOLLAND
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Good

Cherry Hot Pepper

AKA: Cherry Bomb

Description

MEDIUM: Cherry hot peppers are petite and round with a bright red skin. They are loved for their thick, fleshy walls and bright, medium-heat with hints of sweetness. They look almost identical to sweet cherry peppers (also known as pimientos), and can vary significantly in spiciness based on the growing conditions.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Hot cherry peppers are perfect for pickling and stuffing – or both! Their thick walls stand up well to a flavorful brine. They make an excellent hoagie relish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Fair
Fair
Good
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Fair
Good
Good
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Good

Cubanelle Pepper

AKA: Cuban Pepper, Italian Frying Pepper, Ají Chay (Cuba)

Description

MILD: The Cubanelle chile is a mild, sweet pepper with just a touch of heat that is very common in the Caribbean. It is light green and almost yellow in color.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Like an Anaheim or Banana pepper (but slightly sweeter), the Cubanelle is great for frying, stuffing, or incorporating into authentic Cuban, Haitian, Puerto Rican, or Dominican recipes. It can be incorporated into a sofrito along with ají dulce.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Good
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Good
Good
Good
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Good
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Good
Good
Good

Dutch Chile Pepper

AKA: Holland Pepper, Red Finger Hot Pepper

Description

MEDIUM: Dutch chiles were developed in Holland for greenhouse production in Europe from a Southeast Asian cayenne variety. Confusingly, Dutch chiles are often referred to as red finger hots, although they are not the same as the Indian red finger hot chile known as “jwala”. They are less spicy than a true cayenne, but offer a similar clean, bracing heat with about the same SHU rating of a red jalapeño or red fresno. They are very consistent in color and shape with a 5 to 6 inch long slender pod that is bright red with medium thick walls.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Dutch chiles are very versatile and can be used interchangeably with red fresno and red jalapeño. They can also be used as a cayenne substitute, although they will not bring as much heat to the dish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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DOMINICAN
Fair
Good
Good
Good
HOLLAND
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
SPAIN
Good
Good
Good
Good

Green Finger Hot Pepper

AKA: Jwala

Description

HOT: The green finger hot chile is a long, narrow pepper with thin walls that is often twisted and corked (displaying narrow rings of light brown scarring). It is picked when immature and still deep green before the pod turns red. Spicier than a serrano, but milder than cayenne, with a fresh, vegetal flavor, the green finger hot is the preferred fresh hot pepper in many regional cuisines of India, where it is called jwala (meaning “flame”).

Variety Tips & Tricks

Green finger hot chiles are an excellent candidate for drying and grinding into powder thanks to their thin walls.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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DOMINICAN
Fair
Fair
Fair
USA
Fair
Fair
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Fair

Habanada Pepper

Description

MILD: The habanada is a heatless habanero that was recently developed in the 2010s by a plant breeder at Cornell University. It looks just like a tangerine-orange habanero and packs all the bright fruity, tropical flavor that habaneros are prized for, but without the wallop of heat.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Habanadas make a great snacking or crudité pepper. They can also be served charred, like a shishito, to give diners a delightful surprise when the pepper is mild, rather than face-meltingly hot.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Fair
Fair

Habanero Pepper Green

Description

SUPER-HOT: Habaneros are one of the spiciest chili pepper varieties on Earth. Likely originating in the Amazon, habaneros are now one of the most popular peppers in Central America and the Caribbean, especially Jamaica and the Yucatan region of Mexico. Packing 100,000-350,000 SHU, the small, lantern-shaped habanero has an intense, burning heat. Green habaneros are picked when still unripe, before they have turned orange, red, or any other color. The green habaneros retain a vegetal and grassy flavor.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Green habaneros are excellent for sauces where a grassy flavor and intense heat is desired. Gloves should be worn when handling habaneros!

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Feb
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DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Habanero Pepper Orange

Description

SUPER-HOT: Habaneros are one of the spiciest chili pepper varieties on Earth. Likely originating in the Amazon, habaneros are now one of the most popular peppers in Central America and the Caribbean, especially Jamaica and the Yucatan region of Mexico. Packing 100,000-350,000 SHU, the small, lantern-shaped habanero has an intense, burning heat. Orange habaneros have a fruity, citrusy flavor that adds a level of complexity to its spiciness. They are the most common color of habanero found in the US market.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Orange habaneros add exceptional flavor and heat to all manner of sauces, salsas, soups, and stews. Rather than incorporating the habanero into the dish, try placing the habanero on top of the sauce or soup as it cooks, covered, to infuse the dish with the flavor without overwhelming the dish with spiciness. Always wear gloves when handling habaneros!

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
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Sep
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DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Habanero Pepper Red

Description

SUPER-HOT: Habaneros are one of the spiciest chili pepper varieties on Earth. Likely originating in the Amazon, habaneros are now one of the most popular peppers in Central America and the Caribbean, especially Jamaica and the Yucatan region of Mexico. Packing 100,000-350,000 SHU, the small, lantern-shaped habanero has an intense, burning heat. Red habaneros are one of the spicier varieties of habaneros. They also have a sweet, fruity, smoky flavor that adds a level of complexity to its spiciness.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Red habaneros add exceptional flavor and heat to all manner of sauces, salsas, soups, and stews. Rather than incorporating the habanero into the dish, try placing the habanero on top of the sauce or soup as it cooks, covered, to infuse the dish with the flavor without overwhelming the dish with spiciness. Always wear gloves when handling habaneros!

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Feb
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Aug
Sep
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DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Habanero Pepper Yellow

Description

SUPER-HOT: Habaneros are one of the spiciest chili pepper varieties on Earth. Likely originating in the Amazon, habaneros are now one of the most popular peppers in Central America and the Caribbean, especially Jamaica and the Yucatan region of Mexico. Packing 100,000-350,000 SHU, the small, lantern-shaped habanero has an intense, burning heat. Yellow habaneros have a fruity, tropical flavor with notes of pineapple that adds a level of complexity to its spiciness. They are much less common than their red and orange counterparts.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Yellow habaneros add exceptional flavor and heat to all manner of sauces, salsas, soups, and stews. Rather than incorporating the habanero into the dish, try placing the habanero on top of the sauce or soup as it cooks, covered, to infuse the dish with the flavor without overwhelming the dish with spiciness. Always wear gloves when handling habaneros!

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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HOLLAND
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair

Hungarian Hot Pepper

AKA: Hungarian Wax Peppers

Description

MEDIUM: Hungarian hot peppers are a type of wax pepper originating in Hungary. They are usually 5 to 6 inches long with broad shoulders and a tapered point. Picked when yellow or very light green before they turn red, the pod is very smooth and shiny with medium-thick flesh. They have a mild to medium heat.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Hungarian hots are an excellent pickling pepper – and can even be used as a stuffing pepper for chile relleno.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Fair
Fair
Good
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Fair

Jalapeño Pepper Green

Description

MEDIUM: Named for Jalapa – a town in the area of Mexico in which they were first cultivated – jalapeños have been one of the most important chiles in Mexican cuisine for centuries. They have also become one of the most popular chile peppers in the US, and in cuisines from around the world including Vietnamese. Their roughly 3-inch-long, fat pods have broad shoulders and a deep dark green color when unripe. They are most often picked at the unripe stage, when their flavor is bright and grassy, with bitter notes. The heat of a jalapeño is bracing, but not extreme.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The more mature the jalapeño, the more heat. To find the spiciest, look for thin brown rings of scarring (known as “corking”), spots of reddish color, and a slight wrinkle to their skin (they will likely be grown in Mexico). Domestically grown jalapeños may often have a more pristine appearance and superior shelf life, but they don’t usually have the kick of the Mexican product. Note green jalapeños are not good candidates for drying due to their thick walls.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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MEXICO
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
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Good

Jalapeño Pepper Red

Description

MEDIUM: Named for Jalapa – a town in the area of Mexico in which they were first cultivated – jalapeños have been one of the most important chiles in Mexican cuisine for centuries. Their roughly 3-inch-long, fat pods are usually picked unripe and dark green, as they ripen to bright red on an unpredictable timeline. Sporadically, growers are able to ship ripe red jalapeños. Red jalapeños are spicier than green, but they also have more sweetness.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The sweet-spicy combo of red jalapeños makes an addictive hot sauce. In fact, the global hot sauce phenomenon Sriracha is made from red jalapeños.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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MEXICO
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair

Long Hot Pepper

AKA: Italian Long Hot

Description

VARIES: Long hots are a classic East Coast chile pepper, especially popular in Italian-American cuisine. These narrow, elongated peppers have thin walls and a wrinkled pod that may be straight or twisted. They are usually harvested when light green, but may have some red “suntan” during the peak of summer. Their heat level varies from pepper to pepper – some are mild, but others have an intense kick about as hot as a jalapeño. Long hots have a vegetal, fresh flavor with a clean heat.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Long hots are a classic sandwich staple. In Philadelphia, they are roasted or fried and added to the famed roast pork sandwich. In Chicago, they are added to a traditional Italian beef sandwich. Best paired with provolone cheese, olive oil, and/or pork fat.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Fair
Fair
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Manzano Pepper

Description

MEDIUM: Manzano (meaning “apple” in Spanish) peppers are a petite orange-yellow chile with a squat round shape and thick, fleshy walls. Native to South America, they are closely related to the rocoto pepper of the Andes mountains, but much less spicy. Both manzanos and rocotos are members of a unique pepper species that is identifiable by its black seeds. Manzanos have become particularly popular in Mexico, where they are prized for their mild to medium spice and fruity flavor with hints of citrus and apricot. Many consider them to be a more flavorful version of a bell pepper.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Manzano peppers are best used fresh (not dried) due to their thick walls. Their fresh, fruity flavor is excellent in salsas and relishes.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
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MEXICO
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Poblano Pepper

Description

MILD: Poblano peppers are named for the Mexican state of Puebla where they originated. They are one of the most popular chiles in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking. Large, 3- to 6-inch-long pods have thin walls, broad shoulders, and a pointed tip. The pod is a deep green color and usually very shiny. Some wrinkling is normal on poblanos (especially those from Mexico), as the thin walls are prone to drying out. Domestic poblanos are more likely to look pristine, but some prefer the flavor of Mexican-grown poblanos despite the wrinkles or other cosmetic imperfections. Poblanos are very mild in spice with just a little heat and a rich, smoky flavor.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The smoky flavor of a poblano is brought out by fire roasting and peeling. Roasted poblano can add pleasantly bitter, smoky notes to any dish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
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Jun
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Sep
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MEXICO
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Red Fresno Pepper

Description

MEDIUM: The Fresno pepper was first cultivated in the 1950s in Fresno County, CA, which it is named for. The red Fresno looks very similar to a red jalapeño, but often has a pointier tip and slightly broader shoulders. Like the jalapeño, the Fresno starts out green and gradually turns to red once matured. Red Fresno peppers are about as spicy as a red jalapeño, but with a distinct sweet, smoky flavor that is prized by chefs across the US.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Red Fresno peppers bring a clean heat that isn’t overwhelming along with an intoxicating sweetness. They are versatile in the kitchen and pair well with pizzas, pastas, fruits, and more.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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USA
Fair
Fair
Good
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Good
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Good
Good
Good
Good

Serrano Pepper

AKA: Prik Khee Nu Kaset (Thailand)

Description

HOT: Serrano peppers are a Mexican chili with a similar flavor profile to jalapeño but with more than 5 times the heat. Serranos are small, about 2 to 4 inches long, and narrower than a jalapeño, with a brighter green color. They have fleshy walls that bring a vegetal, fresh flavor along with their bracing, but not face-melting, heat. Serranos are common in Mexico, but have also gained popularity in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Serranos can be roasted to bring out their pleasantly bitter, earthy flavor. They are not good candidates for drying.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
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Jun
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Sep
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MEXICO
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Shishito Pepper

Description

VARIES: Shishito peppers are a Japanese variety of chile that are mostly mild and sweet with fresh, grassy notes – but about 1 in 10 peppers can pack a bit of spice. Their name comes from the Japanese word shishi meaning “lion” (it was thought that the wrinkled pepper resembled the face of a mythical lion). About 2-4 inches long, these thin-skinned chiles are usually blistered and used as a garnish in Japanese cooking. This easy preparation and fun eating experience have made them a popular bar snack around the world. Shishitos are often confused with a closely related pepper from Spain called a Padrón. They are very similar and can be used interchangeably, but Padróns (which are much rarer in the US commercial market) are more often spicy – about 1 in 5.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Shishitos are best prepared quickly – seared and blistered and served whole with a sprinkle of good quality sea salt. Even the seeds can be eaten, if desired.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
USA
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Thai Hot Pepper Green

AKA: Prik Kee Noo (Thailand), Chili Padi (Malaysia), Bird’s Eye Chili

Description

HOT: While there are hundreds of varieties of chili pepper in Thailand, a popular Thai variety known as prik kee noo (translated to “mouse dropping chili”) is often sold under the generic name “Thai Chili” in the US. This variety is common throughout Southeast Asia. These fiery peppers are in the cayenne family but pack even more heat than their New World relatives. They begin green and ripen to bright red. Green Thai hots have a more immediate heat than red Thai hots, with a somewhat fleshier pod. Expect a clean, grassy heat about 15 times higher than that of a jalapeño.

Variety Tips & Tricks

The clean, strong heat of green Thai hots is excellent in dipping sauces and as a garnish.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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HONDURAS
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Thai Hot Pepper Red

AKA: Prik Kee Noo (Thailand), Chili Padi (Malaysia), Bird’s Eye Chili

Description

HOT: While there are hundreds of varieties of chili pepper in Thailand, a popular Thai variety known as prik kee noo (translated to “mouse dropping chili”) is often sold under the generic name “Thai Chili” in the US. This variety is common throughout Southeast Asia. These fiery peppers are in the cayenne family but pack even more heat than their New World relatives. They begin green and ripen to bright red. Red Thai hots seem less spicy than green ones, but often they just have a slower burn and the spiciness will not hit until after they’ve been eaten. Expect a searing heat about 15 times higher than that of a jalapeño.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Red Thai hots are better contenders than green for drying, as the green peppers are fleshier and require more time and better air circulation.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
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HONDURAS
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
DOMINICAN
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good

Trinidad Scorpion Pepper

AKA: Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”

Description

SUPER-HOT: Trinidad Scorpions originally hail from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. They are 2 to 3 inches long and bright red with a wrinkled, squat pod and distinctive pointed “tail”. They are some of the hottest varieties of pepper on earth with some varieties clocking in at over 2 million SHU – as much as 20 times hotter than a habanero. Their intense heat builds over time into a face-melting experience that can leave one sweating and numb. Their flavor is sweet, if you can get past the heat.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Always handle super-hot peppers with gloves – even when whole. Do not allow the pepper oil to touch your skin. If you need to taste the pepper on its own, have a glass of whole milk handy to alleviate the pain.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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HOLLAND
Fair
Good
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Good
Good
Good

Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Hot chile peppers are a global staple. There are hundreds of varieties around the globe each with a different spice level and taste profile, ranging from fruity to smokey to grassy. Chile peppers can be used raw, cooked, pickled, fermented, or dried. Chile peppers are at their most pungent when raw. Cooking will disperse heat of the pepper into the sauce or dish. Fresh chile peppers are an essential ingredient in hot sauces, Mexican salsas, Thai salads, Malaysian sambal, North African harissa, Indian curries, and so many more. Chile peppers are used in cooking around the world, notably in Mexican, Caribbean, Central American, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Filipino, and Korean cuisines.

Flavor Pairings

Lime, Cabbage, Onion, Tomato, Zucchini, Cucumber, Corn, Scallion, Mushroom, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Winter Squash, Cilantro, Basil, Thai Basil, Garlic, Ginger, Olive Oil, Sugar, Honey, Beans, Pasta, Tofu, White Fish, Shrimp, Shellfish, Tuna, Chicken, Beef, Pork

How to Store & Use in the Kitchen

Store chile peppers in a sealed bag in the refrigerator. Sliced or diced peppers may be frozen for later use.

 

Use caution when handling fresh hot chile pepper! The capsaicin in the pepper can cause a burning sensation on the skin that can be exceptionally unpleasant, especially if it is transferred to a sensitive area like the eyes or nose. Wear gloves when handling. To determine how spicy a pepper is, taste it or smell it – a very spicy pepper will produce a tingling sensation in the nose when sniffed. The spiciest part of the pepper will be its white “ribs”. Remember that the heat level of a pepper can vary based on growing conditions and maturity, not just variety.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

Chile peppers are perfect candidates for preserving – pickle or dry any excess peppers for later use.

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

45-50°F

RECOMMENDED TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

40-54°F (Cool Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:

Yes – Chile peppers are moderately susceptible to chilling injury. When stored at or below 45°F, softening, pitting, and decay are likely.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

90-95%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

No

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

No

Quality Assessment

Chile peppers should be relatively uniform in shape, color, and size within the case. They should be firm and free from decay, soft spots, mold, or major mechanical damage. Some varieties may have natural color variation within a case or corking (thin, light brown rings of scar tissue around the fruit), which is a sign of maturity and spiciness in the pepper. Both are normal.

Important Handling Notes

Peppers are easily bruised, which can lead to early decay, so handle with care.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, chile peppers may last up to 1-3 weeks.

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