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Cinco de Mayo Special on Hot Peppers

We are honoring Cinco De Mayo Day with a real hot topic, Chilies - Chilies - Chilies - Chilies


Are dark green or scarlet red when ripe, they are small and tapered and you should look for them to be firm. Hotter than jalapenos - 80% of the heat comes from the ribs and seeds, where the Capsaicin oil is. You should always wear gloves (rubber) when handling these because they will burn your skin for up to 12 hours after handling. Soap will not remove the burn and always keep your hands away from your eyes and nose.

Remove the seeds and ribs for a milder taste. Two peppers on the same plant can have different heat intensity.

You should drink milk - not water or eat starchy foods if the heat is too intense.


Is the most common of the hot chili peppers. Deep-green and tapered they grow to about 2" long and boy do they pack a punch.

Always store all hot chili peppers, no matter what the variety, in a brown paper bag - they store much better in them. Often you will see a line, beige in color, running down from stem to bottom - just remove. It doesn't affect the flavor. Of all the chilies they keep the longest - up to 10 days refrigerated.


Hottest of the hot chilies, they are 1,000 times hotter than the jalapenos. The color is green to orange red and shaped like a lumpy square. People who can handle the heat from them say they have a distinct flavor reminiscent of tropical fruits. Choose ones that have shiny skins and refrigerate them wrapped in damp paper towels.

Slice off the stem and remove the ribs and seeds for a milder taste - but milder is still too hot for me. A milder Habanero is still hotter than most hot peppers.


My favorite of all the hots, to me they have a great taste. Either dried or fresh Poblanos are very important to Mexican cuisine. They are deep green with a purplish tint and they vary in intensity from medium to hot. Green Poblanos are never eaten raw. When they are fully mature they turn red and develop a sweeter taste. Roasting green Poblanos gives them a lovely smoky flavor.

Dried Poblanos are very popular and called Ancho Chilies. Look for firm Poblanos with smooth unwrinkled skin the darker the Poblano the richer the flavor. They are great stuffed or roasted and when they get very hot you should de-vein them and take out the seeds for a milder taste.

Other Chiles

Some other Chile varieties are Thai, Pasilla, Korean, Hungarian Wax, Fresno, Long Hots, Cherry Hots, Anaheim. They all are hot because they all have one thing in common - CAPSAICIN. The fiery oil that gives Chilies heat. Remember if you get this on your hands, no soap or water will help you. The lasting effect is 12 hours of burning. So be careful and enjoy!!


Pepper Relish

Other recipes from Produce Pete.


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