If you like serious smoky sweet heat, step right up
Scoville heat units (SHU): 425,000 – 577,000
Jalapeño reference point: 53 to 231 times hotter
Sure you know what chocolate is, and if you’re any bit of a hot pepper fan, you’ve got an idea of what a habanero is. But what is a chocolate habanero? It’s not a line of spicy candies, that’s for sure. No, this is a variety of habanero peppers, like the Red Savina habanero, that packs a serious punch. In fact it’s even spicier than the Red Savina with unique earthy and smoky undertones that compliment their typical habanero sweetness.
Chocolate habaneros are hotter than regular habaneros?
They are. In terms of the Scoville scale, chocolate habaneros tend to hit around 425,000 – 577,000 Scoville heat units. That can easily be double the heat of a regular habanero. Versus the Red Savina, chocolate habaneros are very similar in terms of heat. The main difference: the mildest chocolate (around 450,000 SHU) will always be hotter than the mildest Red Savina (350,000 SHU).
With the jalapeño reference point, you are talking on average 142 times hotter than a mild jalapeño. This makes chocolate habaneros one of the hottest peppers around, but still significantly milder than the jump up to the ghost pepper (starting at 855,000 SHU).
Are there different varieties of chocolate habaneros?
There are. Like most chili peppers, there are various strains around the world that are cultivated and sold. You’ll see lots of different names for these chilies: black Congo, dark habanero, Jamaican hot chocolate, black habanero, Senegal hot chocolate, and Cuban habanero just to name a few. These are all variations on the theme of chocolate habaneros. They share similar taste (with slight variations) and heat (again with slight variations).
The pods of chocolates tend to be slightly larger than your typical habanero pepper – about 2 inches in length. They start emerald-green and as they ripen they take on the unique dark brown color.
What do chocolate habaneros taste like?
Where can I buy chocolate habaneros?
Unlike your normal habanero, you aren’t likely to find the chocolate varieties in your local supermarket. You can, though, order the seeds and plants online. There’s also a wide array of salsas and hot sauces available that feature these chili peppers, and they typically play up that smokiness you find with the chili.
If you love smoky heat, you’ll definitely want to check the chocolate habanero out. Hot sauces and chili rubs that are made with it are a mega-spicy alternative to a chipotle rub for steaks and other meats. It’s a definite step up, so be prepared!