Whether you are growing pepper seeds, or just buying hot peppers, here are ten types of hot peppers you may want to try. They vary in size, shape, color and in the amount of heat they have. The heat, size, and color can vary even in the types of hot peppers, so you my want to check the amount of heat before you try them. The heat index is measured in Scovilles units. A higher number means a hotter pepper. Since there is so much variation in heat in even the type of pepper I won’t list the Scoville units, but just give a rating of mild to very hot.
1. Chile Peppers: Chile is a very generic term and can can be almost any kind of pepper. I’ll be talking about the ones that are usually referred to as Chile Peppers in the USA. Chile Peppers range in size from about one inch long and as wide as a pencil, to four or more inches long, and three or four inches wide. They are an elongated cone shape, and can be picked green or red. Their heat varies greatly from mild to very hot, as there are so many different types.
2. Cayenne Peppers: Cayenne Peppers are long and thin with a slightly crinkled shape. They are about the the thickness of a pencil and get to three to five inches in length. They are bright red in color when ripe and very hot. These are the peppers commonly used in Cajun cooking.
3. Jalapeno Peppers: Jalapeno Peppers are the ones most often used pickled for Nachos, or fresh in Salsas. They are generally picked green but can be picked red. They are about one inch wide and three or four inches long, and have a blunt cone shape. Their heat ranges from very mild to very hot depending on the variety.
4. Hungarian Yellow Wax or Hot Banana: Hungarian Yellow Wax Peppers are sweet peppers with a medium heat. They are great for adding a little spice to soups and stews. They are two to four inches wide and four to eight inches in length. They are normally picked yellow, but can be picked red.
5. Hot Cherry Peppers: Hot Cherry Peppers are commonly pickled and served with salads. They are medium heat, round in shape, and about two or three inches in diameter. Pick them both green and red for a beautiful jar of pickled peppers.
6. Pablano Peppers: Pablano Peppers are the pepper most often used for Chili Relanos. They are medium hot and very dark green or red. They have a flattened cone shape, and are about four inches wide, and five or six inches long.
7. Pepperoncini Peppers: Pepperoncini Peppers are the pickled salad peppers of the Greeks and Italians. They are light green, or yellow green in color ripening to red. They are about one inch wide and range from two or three inches to five or six inches in length. They have a very crinkled shape.
8. Thai Hot: Thai Hot Peppers are fairly small, but very hot. These little peppers are the heat in much of Thai cooking. They are about 1/2 inch wide and 1/2 to two inches in length. They are usually picked red, and are used both fresh and dried.
9. Orange Habanero or Scotch Bonnet: Orange Habanero Peppers are some of the hottest peppers. They are about one inch wide and two inches long. They can be picked green or when orange. If you can stand the heat they add great flavor to Salsas.
10. Caribbean Red: Caribbean Red Peppers are closely related to Orange Habaneros. They have the same size and shape but ripen to bright red. They are extremely hot twice as hot as their Orange Habenaro cousins.
These are just ten of the many type of hot peppers, which you can grow in your garden. So if you like it hot, try growing pepper plants with a little heat. Not only do they spice up your cooking, but can be strung into beautiful Ristas, to decorate you kitchen.
Remember if your growing peppers, or buying them, there’s more than just sweet peppers, turn up the heat and enjoy a little spice in your life!
David C Becker is a gardener who loves growing, cooking, and eating hot peppers.
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