A Jalapeno So Hot You Don’t Know If You’re Eating A Jalapeno

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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24 Responses

  1. dexter says:

    I can’t imagine telling a server in a restaurant that I don’t like x but I really, really want x salsa.
    I grow bell peppers, banana peppers and usually some hot peppers. If you plant them too close together the bees will cross pollinate them and you can end up with some very hot banana and bell peppers. I like hot food and I plant the bananas next to the jalapenos, or habaneros so the so the bananas peppers will get hotter. Then we deseed them and stuff them with shrimp and hot monterey jack cheese and freeze them for hor devours. One can also plant yellow, red and purple bells together and get some really weird striations. The bees will also cross pollinate the squashes. One year I ended up with a combo butternut and acorn squash to looked funny but tasted good.Report

  2. Habaneros have a flavor beyond just capsaicin that is different from bell peppers. I haven’t been able to detect that with jalapeños, however.

    Second dexter on squashes. Anything in the same family does the trick, in fact. One year we had yellow- and green-striped squashcumbers that were the size of rugby balls.Report

    • dexter in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      Jason, Were the squashcumbers edible? The acorn/butternut hybrid looked a little funny and definitely tasted different, but they still tasted good.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to dexter says:

        Yeah, I’d be ready to jump on in for an acorn/butternut hybrid — cook him until he’s soft with some browned butter and cinnamon, maybe — but I’d be wary of crossing a regular yellow squash with a cucumber.Report

  3. dhex says:

    why not just use bell pepper? jalapeno basically tastes like bell pepper anyway.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to dhex says:

      You only think that because farmers have been making jalapeños so mild for years now that some of them really do taste like bell peppers. Which defeats the point of having a jalapeño at all, if you ask me — if I’m using a jalapeño, it’s precisely because I want a medium level of heat – not as much as a habañero but more than a bell.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

        We should also clarify whether we are talking about fresh peppers or pickled ones. I tend to find the fresh variety not only hotter, but with a crisper taste that captures more of the pepper’s actual flavor. They are the only ones I use when making a jalapeno-infused vodka.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Burt Likko says:

        There’s no ñ in habanero.Report

    • dhex in reply to dhex says:

      i don’t like the taste of bell peppers, so i’m an habanero and up kinda guy. jalapenos just taste like bell peppers to me.

      habanero is a bit too much like bell peppers in its less mutated forms but if you get a particularly fruity strain it’s pretty deece. especially when blended or used in marinade.Report

  4. Kim says:

    Jalapenos have been bred in America to be way way way less hot than they were originally.
    Our local jalapeno growers (near Pittsburgh) still use the original varietal — it’s not habanero level, but it’s good.
    A Jalapeno should be hot. In places where folks like “original recipes”, it still is.

  5. Chris says:

    I use a jalapeño or serrano paste (crushed jalapeño or serrano, water, and salt) on pretty much anything I eat that even resembles Mexican or Tex-Mex, and I can’t imagine using bell peppers. The tastes are completely different to me (I eat bell peppers, just not in a paste).Report

  6. NoPublic says:

    Water and soil/nutrients can change the spice level of jalapenos by 2-300% (based on my uncalibrated tongue) Ran some experiments last year on soil (loam, potting (fertilized loam), sand, composted loam) and water (drip, continuous reservoir, arid/soak) and found that sandy low-fertilized (5% composted) soil and arid/soak cycles produced the hottest peppers (and the most work/pepper) with composted/drip a close second with much less work/pepper.Report

    • Kim in reply to NoPublic says:

      Yeah, there is that too.
      Gardeners pamper their plants too much to make good hot peppers.
      (corollary: gardeners hate people who grow hot peppers).Report

    • Will H. in reply to NoPublic says:

      Soil acidity has something to do with that as well.
      Packing pine needles around the plants to acidify the soil is an old growers’ trick to make the peppers hotter.Report

    • George Turner in reply to NoPublic says:

      As I recall, the Chili’s restaurant chain increased the heat of their peppers last year by hiring a sadistic farmer to make the plants really, really angry.

      Anyway, as something of a chili head (I kept a bhut jolokia – ghost chili – for two years by wintering it my closet under grow lights), let me mention that there are plenty of sites with great pepper varieties that we don’t normally see in the US, even ones that aren’t seen in Mexico.

      The apricot habanero has all the habanero flavor but only 500 Scoville units, hardly more than a bell. Similar mild habaneros are the NuMex suave red (or orange), and some of the South American Aji Dulce peppers. Google one and all the seed company links will lead you to the rest. It’s a lot of fun to grow peppers that none of your friends have even heard of, peppers that are not only not the same varieties we usually see, but not even in the same species.Report

  7. j r says:

    This reminds me of the existence of Kahlua-flavored coffee drinks. Kahlua is coffee-flavored liqueur. What’s the purpose of a non-alcoholic Kahlua-flavored coffee? It’s coffee-flavored coffee. People just have a fascination with brands.Report

  8. Kazzy says:

    Aren’t the seeds the primary source of heat in jalapenos? Or is that a myth? If it’s true, couldn’t you just seed the jalapenos but use the flesh?

    Of course, as Dexter points out, hating X but wanting X salsa kind of makes you an ass.Report

  9. ScarletNumber says:

    Was this post inspired by my comment compared the Jalapeno Poppers at Arby’s and Sonic?Report