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Chile Peppers

Updated on April 6, 2013

Chile Peppers a hot Subject

Chile or Pepper, not Chile Pepper. Confusing right?

So how did this confusion begin?

Well, it began in Mexico. The word Chile is Spanish for Pepper. In English we would say the Jalapeno pepper and in Spanish it would be Chile Jalapeno. A sweet pepper in Spanish would be Chile Dulce.

See the problem with Chile Pepper? Pepper Pepper!

No matter how you view it or what name you call it by it's Hot!

Knowing How Hot A Pepper Is

1912, Wilbur Scoville created a rating system for the heat of peppers. Sweet peppers rate zero on the Scoville Heat Unit scale, while most hot peppers rate in the thousands and top out at about 60,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Some are only slightly hot, while others are considered "5 alarm" peppers.

Today a more scientific and accurate method called liquid chromatography is used to determine capsaicin levels. In honor of Dr. Wilbur the unit of measure is still named Scoville.

Eating Peppers For Weight Loss

A small study was conducted with the aid of a registered dietitian and a UCLA internist.

Fourteen subjects ate a low-fat diet with and without chilies. During the 56 days in which volunteers ate chilies, participants lost an average of 9.4 pounds. By comparison, in the phase of the study in which they did not eat Chile's, volunteers lost only nine-tenths of a pound.

Allison said subjects also reported fewer cravings for fat and sweets during the Chile phase.

Peppers And Their Health Benefits

According to the scientists at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the tests showed the potential of repressing the growth of the cancer cells in humans. "Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture," said the institutes's Soren Lehmann. "It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models,"

Peppers have been used to treat ailments such as:

toothaches

painful joints

frostbite

to stop bleeding

These and many more Medical uses have been reported. The main ingredient of the pepper this is associated to is Capsaicin. If you want more information on using Capsaicin you can do a word search.

Fresh or lightly cooked peppers are rich in Vitamin C; indeed this was first isolated in Hungary from bell pepper.

Classifying Types Of Peppers.

There are a number of different ways to classify Peppers. The most common is Mild and Hot. Most seed providers classify peppers as Sweet and Hot. I have heard people while eating peppers classify them in many different ways, but I can not include those classifications here.

For this guide I will classify peppers by the following

Sweet peppers 0 - 500 Units

Mild Peppers 500 - 2500 units

Hot Peppers 2500 - 10,000 units

Extreme Peppers 11,00 to 750,000 units

Grow Your Very Own Peppers

You can grow your very own Peppers starting from these tiny little seeds.

Cherry Peppers

Cherry Peppers
Cherry Peppers

Sweet Peppers - 0 - 500 Units

  1. Banana Pepper 500 units

    A banana-shaped pepper that changes from pale to deep yellow or orange as they mature. These are easily confused with hotter yellow wax peppers. Sample before using. Sweet banana peppers are sweet, long, tapered, yellow and banana-shaped, hence the name. Sweet Banana peppers may be fried or sautéed, used raw on relish platters, in salads, sandwiches or stuffed.

  2. Cherry Pepper 0 - 500 units

    Cherry peppers measure about 1 3/4 inch in diameter. The heat ranges from moderately mild to medium heat with traces of sweetness. Peppers are fleshy and heavily seeded. It matures from green to red.

  3. Pepperoncini 100 to 500

    Pepperoncini are typically used in sandwiches, salads (particularly Greek salad, tossed salads served in pizzerias, and antipasto platters), and as a garnish to lend dishes a crunchy texture and salty taste.

  4. Pimento 0

    The Pimento, Pimiento, or Cherry Pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide (medium, elongate). The flesh of the pimento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper. Some varieties of the pimento type are hot, including the Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande varieties.

  5. Bell Pepper 0

    Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. Green bell peppers have about 50% more vitamin C than navel oranges by weight, and red bell peppers have about twice as much

Mild Peppers 500 - 2500 units - Best For Most People

  1. Anaheim Chile 500 to 2,500 units

    These large mild chile's have a thick skin, and are usually a bright, shiny green. Available year-round in most supermarkets, they're best in the summer. The flavor ranges from mild and sweet to moderate hot,they can vary greatly from pepper to pepper. They are perfect for chile's rellenos, dice or puree them for sauces, soups, and casseroles

  2. Poblano Pepper 1,000 - 2,000 units

    A large mild, heart-shaped pepper that has thick walls, which make them great for stuffing. Because it is a rather mild pepper, it can be used in quantity to add a deep rich flavor to any chili creation. Best in the summer.

  3. Ancho 1,000 to 2,000

    The Ancho is the dried version of the Poblano pepper. When dried, the poblano pepper is known as ancho pepper. Poblano peppers are great "every day" cooking peppers. They can be used to flavor a great number of dishes with their fantastic rich taste.

  4. NuMex Big Jim 500 to 2,500

    This jumbo hot pepper produces 8" pods that are thick-walled, medium hot and perfect for roasting, canning or drying. This variety was developed in New Mexico, and produces big yields of peppers that are big on flavor and size!

  5. Pasilla 1,000 ~ 2,000

    The pasilla is part of the legend of the origin of mole sauces, which also contain anchos. Because it is very flavorful, the pasilla is a favorite of Mexican moleros, cooks who specialize in preparing unique mole sauces. The pasilla is mainly used in the dried pod or powder form in sauces such as moles and adobos. It adds an interesting taste and color to standard red chile enchilada sauce as well.

Your Very Own Pepper Plants

Perhaps you would prefer to grow your own Peppers starting with plants.

Habanero Pepper

Habanero Pepper
Habanero Pepper

Hot Peppers 2500 - 10,000 units Begin Using Caution

  1. Fresno Pepper 5,000 units

    Bright green, changing to orange and red when fully matured, Fresno chilies have a conical shape - about 2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter at the stem end. Similar to jalapeno peppers, but with thinner walls, they're great in salsas. Fresnos are available in the summer. the hotter red ones come out in the fall.

  2. Jalapeno Pepper 2,500 - 8,000 units

    These popular chiles have a good amount of heat and rich flavor. Green jalapenos are best in the late summer, while red jalapenos appear in the fall. Canned jalapenos aren't as fiery as fresh.

  3. Mirasol Pepper 2,500 - 5,000 units

    This thin-skinned pepper can vary more than any other Chile in looks, and therefore may be hard to recognize. Sometimes small, sometimes large, smooth or wrinkled, it is quite inconsistent. Known for its distinct berry like, fruity flavor that enhances potatoes chicken, and pork. Spices up hot salsas, stews, and mole sauces.

  4. Chipotle, Dried Jalapeno Peppers 5,000 to 8,000 units

    ChipotleChipotle is not actually a name for any particular pepper, but it applies to a smoking process to dry them. Usually mature jalapenos are selected to be smoked-dried, making them significantly hotter than the immature green pepper. Chipotals enhances and imparts a great smoky flavor.

  5. Rocotillo Chile 1,500 - 2,500 units

    These chile's look like tiny bell peppers and have black seeds. They have an interesting fruity flavor.

Extreme Peppers 11,00 to 750,000 units - Specialty Items

  1. Cayenne Pepper 30,000 to 50,000 units

    A wrinkled, very pungent thick fleshed fruit, 6 inches long and 1-1/4 inches in diameter, they are often used in Cajun recipes. . Very pungent, even when small. The Cayenne derived its name from the Cayenne district of French Guiana. Used for sauces, dried, pickled or in salsas. Green cayennes appear in the summer, while hotter red cayennes come out in the fall.

  2. Habanero Pepper 150,000 to 575,000 units

    For the uninitiated even a tiny piece of Habanero would cause intense and prolonged oral suffering. Underneath the heat is a delicate plum-tomato apple-like flavor.

  3. Serrano Pepper 8,000 - 22,000 units

    A small, rich, waxy green peppers change to orange and red as they mature. They are about 1 ½” long with thin walls and the smaller they are, the more kick they have.

  4. Thai Chile 50,000 - 100,000 units

    For such a small chile, it packs an incredibly fiery punch. Thai chiles range in color from red to green when fully mature. They are often used in Asian curries.

  5. Naga Jolokia 800,000 to 1,001,300

    I do not even want this pepper in my neighborhood, let alone in anything I eat. I have not seen or even dreamed of a use for this Pepper other than the Worlds Record.

Fired Up! - Roast Peppers

Burn Baby Burn - That's Not Hot

How Hot Do You Like It?

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    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      I learned something new fro your lens.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      I learned something new fro your lens.

    • SheilaVine LM profile image

      SheilaVine LM 6 years ago

      I love Peppers

    • RunawayBrain profile image

      RunawayBrain 7 years ago

      Very nice lens. Great photos. I'm going to add this lens to the featured lenses on my own lens: http://www.squidoo.com/GreenChileRoastBeast.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great post. www.theenglishchillicompany.com

    • Orphie G profile image

      Orphie G 9 years ago

      Great lens. I believe the chile has now taken over the title of the "perfect food" from the banana! Check out my group The Burn.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      hello everyone one that is reading dis graet facts on peppers and also great recipes on it as welllove lisa

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Beautiful photos... and don't worry. There's room for a peck of pickled pepper lenses on Squidoo! Thanks for featuring mine.