Chile Peppers Recipes
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Habanero Chile Pepper

Habanero Chile Pepper Stats

Name: Habanero
Pronunciation: ah-bah-NAIR-oh
Length: 1 - 2 ½"
Width: 1 - 2"
Scientific Name: Capsicum chinense
Other Names: black habanero is a name given to dark brown habaneros that have an exotic and unusual taste.
Scoville Range: 100,000 - 350,000

Habanero Chile Pepper Origin and History

The habanero originated in Cuba and the name means "from Havana." Cubans introduced habanero peppers to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, from which Spaniards distributed it to warm climates around the world. Mistakenly believing the plant was from China, early taxonomists called it Capsicum chinense.

The Yucatan Peninsula is by far the most major area of cultivation for the habanero, with 1,500 tons harvested each year. Mexico is the largest consumer of habaneros as this fiery pepper is central to Yucatan cuisine. Habaneros are also grown in Belize, Costa Rica, Texas, and California, but to a much lesser extent.

Habanero Chile Pepper Description

Intensely spicy habanero peppers are among the hottest of the chile peppers. The fruity, citrus-like flavor has a floral aroma and the flesh is thin and waxy.

Habanero peppers are round, oblong, or lantern shaped. The unripe green fruits change to red or orange (or, less commonly, brown, white, or pink) as they mature.

Each compact, attractive, upright bush can sport dozens of peppers. The chiles can be dried and ground for pepper flakes and Mexican and oriental food stores often carry fresh pods.

Scotch bonnet, so named after its shape, has the same type of flesh, heat level, and flavor as the standard habanero, but with a different pod size and shape. It is more heavily cultivated in Caribbean countries.

Habanero Chile Pepper How to Serve or Use

Habanero peppers are used to make foods hot and spicy. They are typically used dried, pickled, or fresh in salsas and salads. Dried habaneros, which remain viable for long periods of time, can be reconstituted in sauce mixes by adding water. Habanero jelly is a spicy accompaniment to grilled meats and fish.

Habanero chile is added to tequila or mescal to make spicy versions of these drinks. Small slivers of black habaneros add extra fiery heat and exotic taste. Extracts of habanero are so hot only a drop or two are added to sauces. In fact, habaneros are so hot that some bottled sauces carry labels warning consumers to wash their hands after contact and avoid getting the sauce in the eyes.

Image(s) provided by: hoegsberg | chokingsun | nancybeetoo

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