Pepper Profiles

Hot Paper Lantern: A Habanero For The North

A habanero better for cooler climates…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 150,000 – 400,000
Jalapeño reference point: 19 to 160 times hotter
Origin: Peru
Products and seeds: Hot Paper Lantern on Amazon

Habaneros are known for their tropical flair – Caribbean sweet is their thing. So, too, for the Hot Paper Lantern, with a few distinct differences. It’s a tropical-sweet habanero-type pepper with even bigger heat than a common habanero. And where traditional habaneros perform best in warmer climates, the Hot Paper Lantern boasts a shorter growing season. This makes it a perfect habanero for cooler Northern climates where the growing season is shorter.

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Bod'e Pepper

Bod’e Pepper: So Much More Than Cherry-Like Looks

Fruity and smoky, all in a small package…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 30,000 – 32,000
Jalapeño reference point: 4 to 13 times hotter
Origin: Brazil
Products and seeds: Bod’e pepper on Amazon

Like many small chili peppers, the bod’e peppers size belies a surprisingly nuanced fruity flavor. Behind their cherry-like looks is a habanero-like fruitiness with a nice hint of smoke – all without that habanero-like heat. In fact, for those that love spicy food, the bod’e sits in a very eatable area of the pepper scale making this an excellent chili pepper for all sorts of use cases. Though, good luck finding this pepper outside its native Brazil – it’s very difficult to source fresh.

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Pretty in Purple pepper

Pretty In Purple Pepper: A Royal Glow

Providing a true purple pop…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 4,000 – 8,000
Jalapeño reference point: Equal heat
Origin: United States
Products and seeds: Pretty in Purple pepper on Amazon

With its eye-catching purplish hue, the Pretty in Purple pepper is a top choice for those seeking a colorful ornamental chili. Its pods shine with this royal hue – like there’s an inner purple brightness to the fruits. While the plant is compact in size, it blooms a multitude of chilies, allowing the Pretty in Purple to work as both accent color or as a focal point for edible landscaping projects in both large gardens or small containers. These chilies also perform reasonably well in the kitchen, too,  with a very eatable jalapeño-like heat.

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Black Cuban pepper

Black Cuban Pepper: Detailed In Dark

Spicy with a sense of drama…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 40,000 – 58,000
Jalapeño reference point: 5 to 23 times hotter
Origin: Cuba
Products and seeds: Black Cuban pepper on Amazon

Color is a whole plant affair with the Black Cuban pepper. It’s not only the fruits that take on stunning dark hues, it’s the leaves and stems too. This dark detail makes for one stunning and dramatic ornamental pepper. And like with most ornamentals, there’s plenty of spice behind the looks, comparable in heat to a cayenne pepper giving it some basic use cases in the kitchen.

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aji colorado

Aji Colorado: A Spicy Sweet Spot

Fruity heat, great fresh or dried…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 20,000 – 30,000
Jalapeño reference point: 3 to 12 times hotter
Origin: Peru/Bolivia
Products and seeds: Aji colorado on Amazon

The aji colorado may not be the first aji pepper that comes to mind when thinking of Peruvian chilies, but there’s a lot to love here, from their strong, yet eatable heat to their deliciously sweet flavor. Its thin walls make this pepper a terrific option for drying, but you’ll grab it fresh too to enjoy the sweet, near fruity flavor.

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cumari do para

Cumari do Para: Wild Yellow

Tiny chilies with the potential for big heat…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 50,000 – 300,000
Jalapeño reference point: 6 to 120 times hotter
Origin: Brazil
Products and seeds: Cumari do Para on Amazon

The Brazilian Cumari do Para may be tiny – it sized more like a pea than a pepper – but boy this chili pepper can bite. It can run from medium-heat to extra-hot, with the potential for habanero-level heat. And like the habanero there’s a lot of flavor here too. It’s fruity – almost tropical – quite the surprise from this little yellow beauty. Finding this chili, though, may be a challenge. It’s rare to see it outside of the Pará state of Brazil.

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aji pineapple

Aji Pineapple: Tropical Fare

Delicious fruity flavor, good in the kitchen…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 20,000 – 30,000
Jalapeño reference point: 3 to 12 times hotter
Origin: Peru
Products and seeds: Aji Pineapple on Amazon

Peruvian aji peppers are well known for their flavor. Most have a delicious fruitiness that leans towards tropical, and the Aji Pineapple is no exception Its flavor is reminiscent of pineapple – fruity and sweet. That, with its very eatable medium heat, makes the Aji Pineapple a great choice for fresh use – from tropical salsas and hot sauces to salads and even sandwiches. Though finding these chilies may be a challenge outside of Peru may be a challenge. 

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