Through this article we can have a little look into the world of chilli peppers and the best way to use them as well as the best type to combine along with your food.
Try not to be too concerned about the spiciness of peppers, there will be something for everyone here, from mild to an inferno
The Scoville scale is essentially a measure of how spice something is.
This used to be done by diluting it repeatedly and essentially counting the amount of dilutions and using that, but the process has become far more scientific these days and there is a lot more structure to it.
All that we really need to know is that the higher the number, the hotter it is.
Just to give you a little bit of perspective, a jalapeno is somewhere between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), a Scotch Bonnet is between 100,000 and 350,000, over ten times hotter than the hottest of jalapenos.
Lets have a little look into some more peppers and how you can use them.
Uses: Bell peppers come in all sorts of colours and are much more sweet than having any heat to them, they're a big part of fajitas or they can even just be eaten on their own, super versatile.
Uses: They taste nothing like their namesake, but do look similar, these mild peppers add a little bit of sweetness and crunch to a meal, but really still no heat.
Uses: These peppers tend to be quite mild and crunch, but they're rarely eaten raw, and more often associated with paprika, the spice you make from the pepper. They add a mild pepperyness and a little sweetness to a meal, or even a rub.
Also looks amazing!
Uses: Another mild one, they look like tomatoes or cherries, and are an absolute must in tapas, they're sweet and quite juicy and delicious raw or even pickled.
Uses: A big jump on the Scoville scale, these are for once you've mastered jalapenos. These Mexican peppers have a bit of a kick perfect for salsa and other condiments and garnishes like that.
Uses: A moderately spicy pepper that's usually ground up rather than whole, its very rare to find it whole. A nice alternative to salt and pepper on a table, but perfect for a rub on a barbeque.
Uses: Tabasco peppers are among some of the most well known chilli's in the world, are a most commonly known for being turned into the tabasco sauce that we know and love. If you eat them raw they tend to be jitter than their sauce counterpart, and they ca also be dehydrated and grinded to be turned into chilli powder.
Uses: Most commonly known for their trademark appearance in Nandos, it is like a low level habanero, and works lovely will chicken or pork, people even say that it has a slightly herbal flavour.
Units: The name comes from the Trinidad origin as well as the little 'tail' of the bottom of the pepper like the well known little insect. They're mainly intended to add a little heat to some marinades and sauces.
Important to know that from here on out, you need to wear gloves to protect your skin!
Uses: These were once renowned as the worlds most spiciest chilli, the first 15 seconds are sweet and then the pain will begin to set in and will last you quite some time! It can be dried and ground into rubs, used for marinades and sauces, or even some stews and Indian dishes.
Uses: The new king of heat, these things can be extremely hot unless handled with care, the average heat of one of these is 1,641,183 and are best used in small doses blended into sauces for flavour. You could also grind it into a rub if your feeling extra adventurous!
Again, use gloves!
Now that you know about a multitude of chilli's and hopefully a few ways to use them, its time to get into experimenting! Start making those marinades and sauces and see just how high up this Scoville scale you can get!