Crusty, ol` pal...
The chile pepper is yet another of the nightshade family, along with the potato, tomato, eggplant, and the beautiful petunia, with its cousin the tobacco plant. The Greeks named the species capsicum
, meaning, "to bite". Most cooks are familiar with the effects of the chile pepper`s eye-stinging oil capsaicin
and often joke about the stuff although its vapors habitually cause a cook to sneeze, cough, and curse! In some parts of the country, male "pepperheads" even seem to evaluate their level of testosterone using the Scoville Heat Unit scale, and the ingestion of habaneros and serranos seems to have become some sort of entertaining test of manhood. The truth is, methyl vanillyl nonenamide can destroy human tissue and cause blindness!
A single drop of the substance combined with 100,000 parts water is still
A chile`s veins and seeds contain up to 80 percent of its capsaicin and they`re about sixteen times hotter than the rest of the pepper. Yet, the seeds are not the hottest part of a chile pepper as the highest concentration of capsaicin is found where the seeds attach to the white membrane inside. Since neither cooking nor freezing diminishes capsicum`s intensity, removing a chile's seeds and veins is the only way to reduce its heat. Using gloves, most cooks slice a chile in half (lengthwise) having removed the stem and top. Seeds and veins are stripped quickly using a sharp knife. In recipes specifying chiles must remain whole for stuffing, seeds and membranes may be easily removed using a small measuring spoon. Capsaicin is found in no other plant than the chile pepper, yet the common sweet green bell pepper, though of the species capsicum, contains none.
People add heat to their recipes with jalapenos, serranos, or even habaneros. But rest assured, even the habanero - even at only 325,000 scoville units - can still damage human tissue! In comparison, the Bhut Jolokia or "Ghost Pepper"
contains over a million scovill heat units!
People use it by "touching" their food with the pepper. Until 2007, it was the world`s hottest pepper! From then until 2013, the hottest was a newly developed "Trinidad Maruga Scorpion"
. It held the trophy until only 5 months ago, in December 2013 when the "Carolina Reaper"
took over as the hottest in the world, surpassing 1,532,310 Scoville heat units! Make no mistake, this much heat will destroy tissue. It can cause blindness! If you get it on your hands, it will inevitably get into your eyes. Do yourself a favor and dig a deep hole and bury it. It has no practical use whatsoever!
On the other hand, be sure to try chipotles - mesquite-smoked jalapeno peppers used in sausage, chili, and barbecue. Usually found in the grocery with their skins removed and packed inside cans, the little peppers become a perfect seasoning for many recipes. If you would like to keep abreast of new chile recipes, find old ones, access good information about any chile or barbecue products, keep up with current chile events, and become a fellow "chilehead", check in with Dave at: http://www.fiery-foods.com
. You will most probably become as burnt out as I am.
Sweet Bell Pepper 0
Cherry Pepper 500
New Mexico 2,500
Habanero * 325,000
Scotch Bonnet * 325,000
Red Savina Habanero * 577,000
Dorset Naga* 923,000
Bhut Jolokia or "Ghost Pepper"*1,000,000
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion* 1,532,310
Carolina Reaper* OVER....1,532,310!
* (Will damage human tissue)