Did you know that there are many different types of pepper around the world? Apparently, jalapenos are not the hottest one.
So, what is the spiciest variety? Read on to find out more interesting facts about these plants.
1. Bell Pepper
Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers or capsicums, are one of the most popular varieties. Hence, they got their name from the bell-shaped exteriors that range from 4 to 8 inches.
People usually use these types of pepper as the ingredients of various kinds of dishes or as garnishes due to the spectacular colors ranging from green, yellow, red, orange, and purple. Also, you can eat them raw.
Furthermore, green bell peppers are unripe, so they taste a bit bitter. If you let them ripen and turn red or yellow, they will become sweet.
Meanwhile, the orange ones are the most delicious because it means they are fully ripe.
Bell peppers are low in calories and rich in vitamin C. However, unlike the other varieties which tend to be spicy, they are not hot at all due to the absence of capsaicin. Therefore, their Scoville heat unit is 0.
Jalapeno is one of the most popular peppers in the world. Most gardeners think that it is the spiciest variety.
Actually, these types of pepper are not the hottest ones. They are quite mild to moderate, instead. Jalapenos are only 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.
Still, many people consider them as the king because they hardly find spicier varieties on grocery store shelves.
Moreover, Jalapeno comes in thick green or red walls and has a medium size. It features a grassy flavor that can spruce up many kinds of dishes, like salads or stuffed peppers.
These types of pepper belong to sweet varieties that can be mild or very moderate in the term of heat. People usually pick them when they are still light green or yellow-green.
However, if you let them ripen thoroughly in the stem, they can turn into bright red or orange-red.
Indeed, Cubanelle is relatively sweet and mild because it is just 0 – 1,000 SHU, which is milder than a jalapeno.
Again, this variety is crunchier than most Bell Peppers, which makes it a great alternative for stuffed peppers.
Further, people call Cubanelle as Italian Frying Pepper because its thin wall allows it to make a scrumptious quick snack cooked in a frying pan with a little olive oil and salt.
The name of this pepper comes from the Japanese words “shishi”, meaning “lion”, and “togarashi” or “chili pepper”. Therefore, people in Japan know it as “Lion Head Pepper”.
In Korea, shishito is called kkwari-gochu, which means “groundcherry pepper”, because its wrinkled exterior that looks like groundcherries.
This variety has a sweet and mild taste with heat ranging from 50 to 200 SHU, which is 100 times milder than a jalapeno.
However, 1 in 10 shishito peppers can reach its maximum spiciness, making people compare eating it to Russian roulette game.
Furthermore, Shishito is suitable for an appetizer or a bar snack. You can also sear it in oil or grill it. Boost the taste by adding a bit of sea salt, some crème fraiche, or salty cheese.
5. Banana Pepper
As the name suggests, this variety features the yellowish color and shape of a ripe banana. However, they do not have a similar flavor.
Most banana pepper cultivars are not spicy. They tend to be slightly sweet and tangy, but some of them can give you an extremely mild kick at 500 SHU.
Thereupon, due to the slightly sweet taste, people usually eat it on a pizza, in Greek salads, and on sandwiches.
Besides, try combining the pepper with meat and cheese. The subtle sweetness can make a great addition to salsa.
6. Carmen Pepper
If you see Carmen pepper for the very first time, you might think that it is extremely hot due to the curved horn-like shape and tapering exterior.
However, you will be surprised if you bite it because it is not spicy at all with 0 SHU.
This Italian pepper features a pleasing sweetness. It has a wide cavity and thick wall that makes it perfect for stuffing, roasting, and grilling. Then, to optimize the flavor, you can eat it with smoky BBQ.
7. Anaheim Pepper
Observing the name, you might be able to guess where these types of pepper come from. The varieties are derived from a city in California, Anaheim.
Anaheim pepper has a medium size of about 6 to 10 inches in length that reaches its maturity within 75 to 80 days. It features mild flavor and heat with 500 to 2,500 SHU.
These types of pepper come in dark green or reddish color when ripe. However, some of them can be fully red.
Moreover, their mild flavor and striking color make them become a wonderful ingredient for many kinds of foods and recipes.
Also, you can try stringing some Anaheim peppers together and dry them to make ristras.
Pepperoni, or Tuscan Pepper, is from Italy and Greece. Therefore, people also call it as sweet Italian or Golden Greek Peppers.
These types of pepper feature sweet and mild flavor. Its heat can vary from low to medium, which is about 100 to 500 SHU.
Thereupon, it is suitable for becoming an ingredient of antipasto platters, Italian salads, or pizzas.
However, you probably find it in the form of pickles in jars. They can last for a longer period, preserving the sweetened and tangy flavor.
9. Poblano Pepper
Poblano is a well-known Mexican chili pepper that is natively from a region in Mexico, Puebla. This multi-stemmed plant will grow up to 25 inches high.
The ripe pods are typically 8 to 15 cm long and 5 or 8 cm wide. This variety features a quite large, heart-shaped exterior.
Furthermore, the wall is somewhat thick, which allows you to stuff it. Do not worry! It can hold up on a grill or in an oven nicely.
You can enjoy these types of pepper in some other ways by roasting or drying them. Once they are dry, people usually call them ancho chilis.
10. Hatch Chile Peppers
As the name suggests, this variety grows in the Hatch region. Its heat varies from fairly mild to spicy, which is about 1,000 to 8,000 SHU. Some varieties can be even hotter.
Hatch peppers offer earthy flavor when they are mature and turning red, which is quite similar to Anaheim variety.
However, if you pick them early when they are still green and roast them, you will notice a smoky sensation.
This unique taste has made Hatch peppers versatile. You may cook them in various ways, such as stews, sauces, or sautes. They are also a perfect dip, like hummus, salsa, or queso.
11. Fresno Peppers
Are you looking for a hotter cultivar that can add a bit of spicy kick to your sauce, salsa, or any other dish? Try Fresno Pepper.
These types of pepper look and taste like jalapenos, but they are slightly hotter.
The peppers have a striking exterior with a green or red smooth and glossy wall. They can grow up to 2 or 3 inches long with one inch in the term of diameter.
Likewise, its heat levels range from 2,500 to 10,000 SHU, which surpasses the hottest variety of jalapenos, but it is quite similar to a mild serrano pepper.
12. Serrano Pepper
The serrano pepper is a bit similar to that famous jalapeno in the term of color. However, it is smaller than the aforementioned counterpart.
These types of pepper are typically 1 to 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. In some cases, the serrano can grow longer than the average size.
The plants grow up to 152 cm tall and hold up about 50 pepper pods at once. They can thrive well in a site with a pH ranging from 7.0 and 8.5.
Just like any other peppers, the serrano cannot put up with frost. The temperature should be more than 75 degrees F.
The serrano is a meaty pepper that comes in green, orange, yellow, red, and brown. This variety will be your greatest bet if you are a big fan of spicy foods because the heat ranges from 10,000 to 23,000 SHU.
13. Pimento Pepper
The pimento (or pimiento) pepper, also known as cherry pepper, is a heart-shaped, bright red variety that typically grows up to 3 to 4 inches long and 2 or 3 inches wide.
These types of pepper are not spicy. They offer sweet, mild flavor instead with a hint of succulent. The heat only ranges from 500 to 1,000 SHU, which makes them a perfect substitute for bell pepper.
Additionally, stuff the pepper with meat or cheese, sear, or even eat it raw just like the way you enjoy bell peppers.
14. Piquillo Pepper
Piquillo peppers are derived from Lodosa, a small town in Navarre, Spain. They reach 3 inches in length with a vibrant red when they are mature.
Although they feature vivacious red that might make people think that they are extremely hot, Piquillo peppers are not spicy at all. It happens because its heat levels range from 500 to 1,000 SHU.
Piquillo is a Spanish word meaning “little beak”, which explains where these peppers got their name. Locals also call them “red gold” of Lodosa.
15. Guajillo Pepper
These types of pepper are a renowned variety in Mexico. Mexicans grow and use them in their cuisine a lot.
They feature dark, reddish-brown, and leathery walls. Guajillos can grow from 3 to 5 inches in the term of length and 1-inch wide.
Guajillo peppers have a unique taste. They tend to be mild or moderately hot with heat levels of 2,500 to 5,000 SHU.
Moreover, many people claim that this cultivar has either fruity or green tea flavor with hints of sweet berries.
16. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne peppers are the spice that you usually find in pizza. The dried, ground version is usually available on the table in many restaurants as an alternative to salt and pepper.
These types of pepper are closely related to bell peppers and jalapenos that belong to the nightshade family of blossoming plants.
Also, they are thin chilies that come in green to red colors. Cayennes can reach 2 to 5 inches long and ½ in the term of diameter.
Cayenne peppers will jazz up your dish by adding a spicy kick since its heat levels range from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, which is about 10 times hotter than the jalapenos.
17. Ricoto Pepper
Ricoto peppers grow in Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Andes, and the highlands of Central America, resulting in various kinds of names.
In South America, people call these types of pepper as “locoto pepper” or “rocote”. Locals in Guatemala and some parts of Mexico recognize them as “caballo”.
People in Peru and Mexico call Ricoto as “manzana”, meaning “apple pepper” due to their exterior that resembles small apples.
In addition, Ricoto peppers are relatively hot because the heat levels vary from 30,000 to 100,000 SHU.
18. Bird’s Eye Pepper
Bird’s Eye Peppers are native to Cambodia, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam, and the surrounding countries.
These types of pepper will satisfy your taste buds because the heat levels range from 50,000 to 100,000 SHU.
Hence, they become an ideal ingredient for hot sauces, salsas, and chili pastes. You can also dehydrate and grind them to make chili flakes or powders.
Many people think that Habanero is the hottest pepper in the world due to its heat levels that vary from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU.
Habanero cultivars have a unique taste that will make you addicted to them. These types of pepper offer you a combination of fruity and flowery aroma with hints of citrus and a very hot sensation.
20. Scotch Bonnet
These types of pepper belong to the hottest varieties with heat levels of 100,000 to 350,000 SHU, which means they are 20 times spicier than jalapeno.
Now, you know some types of pepper that will challenge your taste buds. Therefore, you should try them all.