The Habanero Pepper is the quintessential “spicy” pepper used throughout Mexican cuisine. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about the Chile Habanero! I’ll also give you some great Habanero Recipes to get you started!
What Is A Habanero Pepper?
The Habanero is considered one of the spiciest peppers and though small in size ( roughly 1 to 2 inches long) they’re packed with heat. While this pepper is widely considered to be an exclusively Mexican chili, they originate in the Amazon.
Additionally, Habaneros are sold in a several different colors and are used to make a variety of hot sauces.
Finally, because these peppers are one of the most common types, they can be found in almost every grocery store!
Why Are There Different Colored Habaneros?
Habanero Peppers change color depending on their level of ripeness. Peppers which are fully ripe will be orange or red in color whereas the green ones are unripe.
Habanero Pepper Scoville
Habanero Peppers, with a heat range of 100,000 to 350,000 on the Scoville scale, are roughly forty times spicier than the jalapeno pepper (2,500 – 8,000 heat units). However, this still isn’t the spiciest pepper. For example, the Carolina Reaper has a heat level between 1.4 million to 2.2 million heat units!
What Do They Taste Like?
The orange Habanero, which is one of the most common sold, has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor. However, the green have more of an earthy and grassy flavor.
Substitute For Habanero Pepper
Since we are dealing with fresh chili peppers here, as opposed to dried, I would recommend using a Serrano pepper. Serrano pepper spice level can reach a up to 25,000 SHU (Scoville heat units) which makes them a great substitute. Additionally, the Scotch Bonnet (which has the same heat level) is also a great substitute though they are harder to find at grocery stores.
Where Can I Buy Them?
Habanero Peppers are one of the most common types of chilis sold in super markets around the world. You should have no problem finding them in the refrigerated section next to other peppers like the jalapeño or Serrano. However, if you’re looking for the dried version of this pepper, you may have better luck purchasing them at a Mexican market. Additionally, you can purchase the dried version of the chili pepper online.
Habanero Pepper Recipes
Habanero Peppers can be used to make a variety of wonderfully spicy and flavorful salsas and sauces. Here are just a couple quick recipes to get you started!
Tips For Handling Chile Habanero
I would suggest you either use gloves or a towel when handling the Habanero Pepper because the oils from these chilis are quite potent and will burn your skin if you’re not careful. Additionally, I’ve noticed that after washing my hands that they oils are still present and can continue to irritate the skin for hours after contact. So, just be careful!
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