Bhut Jolokia Chocolate

Bhut Jolokia Chocolate: A More Subtle Ghost

Same super-heat, with smoky sweet undertones.

Scoville heat units (SHU): 800,000 – 1,001,304
Jalapeño reference point:
100 to 400 times hotter
Origin: India
Products and seeds: Bhut Jolokia Chocolate on Amazon

The infamous ghost pepper is a devil of a chili: A slightly sweet super-hot with a deceiving slow burn. And its cousin Bhut Jolokia Chocolate (a.k.a. ghost pepper chocolate) follows suit, but with a twist beyond its dark complexion. It has a more subtle flavor – slightly sweeter with a hint of smoky – that’s reminiscent of other “chocolate” chili varieties like chocolate habaneros and chocolate scorpion peppers. Used with extreme care, it’s delicious in extreme barbecue sauces, hot sauces, and marinades.

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Espelette Pepper

Espelette Pepper: Firing Up French Cuisine

Rich, subtle, rustic…spicy?

Scoville heat units (SHU): 500 – 4,000 SHU
Jalapeño reference point: Equal heat to 20 times milder
Origin: Basque region, France
Products and seeds: Espelette pepper on Amazon

French cuisine is a lot of things – rich, subtle, and rustic come fast to mind – but meals with any sort of heat is not high on the list. That is except for dishes starring the French native Espelette pepper. Also known as piment d’Espelette, this chili is a common spice of the Basque region of France, and while not a scorcher, it has a delicious subtle heat, slightly smoky and slightly citrusy. It’s so essential to the Basque region and its cuisine that it’s been given – like some wines and cheeses – protective AOC certification.

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melrose pepper

Melrose Pepper Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are Melrose peppers? The Windy City may be the last place you think of when you think about spicy peppers. And even with the Melrose pepper, you’d still be right. Melrose peppers, with their curved, tapered bodies, may look like hotter chilies, but really they are zero-heat …

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Beaver Dam Pepper

Beaver Dam Pepper Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are Beaver Dam peppers? When you think chili peppers, Wisconsin may not be the first place that pops into your mind. But there’s a hidden treasure up near the Canadian border with a very fitting name. The Beaver Dam pepper – brought to the …

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numex twilight

NuMex Twilight Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are NuMex Twilight peppers? The Numex Twilight may be tiny in size, but it packs a surprising amount of heat (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units.) But that’s not what makes these chilies so very special. It’s how they mature – like a rainbow of …

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Madame Jeanette Pepper

Madame Jeanette Pepper: South American Hottie

A high-heat habanero cousin with a peculiar name… Scoville heat units (SHU): 125,000 – 325,000Jalapeño reference point: 15 to 130 times hotterOrigin: South AmericaProducts and Seeds: Madame Jeanette on Amazon The first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Madame Jeanette” is not likely one of the …

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Kung Pao Pepper

Kung Pao Pepper: Putting POW In Pao

Versatile, with very eatable heat…

Scoville heat units (SHU): 7,000 – 12,000
Jalapeño reference point: Equal to 5 time hotter
Origin: Asia
Products and seeds: Kung Pao pepper on Amazon

If you’ve ever dined at (or ordered from) a Chinese restaurant, you’ve likely seen on the menu a few dishes labeled “Kung Pao”. Let’s set things straight out the gate – these dishes aren’t named for this chili. Kung Pao pepper is a recent hybrid chili, and Kung Pao dishes have been around for generations. But Kung Pao pepper does taste great in this dish – and it’s perfect for using in Asian, Thai, and Sichuan cuisine – as it’s an excellent less spicy alternative to Thai peppers and cayenne.

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aji panca substitute

Aji Panca Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are aji panca peppers? In Peruvian cuisine, the aji panca (a.k.a. aji brown) is only second in popularity to its golden bright cousin, the aji amarillo. But that’s in no way a comment on its flavor. In fact, the aji panca is just as flavorful …

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