A delicious color…
Peach habanero fast facts:
- Scoville heat units (SHU): 150,000 – 350,000 SHU
- Median heat: 250,000 SHU
- Origin: Caribbean
- Capsicum species: Chinense
- Jalapeño reference scale: 18 to 140 times hotter
- Use: Culinary
- Size: Approximately 2 inches long, pod-like
- Flavor: Sweet, Fruity
Like many chili peppers, habaneros come in a surprising amount of colors. Orange may be the most common, but there’s chocolate, red and even more uncommon colors like peach. The peach habanero is a beauty of a pepper – with a yummy-looking orange sherbet-like color. But beyond its unique hue, it packs the expected heat and fruitiness that makes its habanero cousins so popular.
How hot is the peach habanero?
The habanero peach shares a similar heat profile to most other habanero peppers, though its floor tends to be a little hotter (150,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units) compared to a common orange habanero (100,000 to 350,000 SHU). There’s a little more bite on average here, but without the potential fieriness of one of the habanero super-hots like the Red Savina, Roatan pumpkin, or chocolate habaneros that can reach well north of 500,000 SHU.
Compared to the jalapeño pepper, our reference point, the peach habanero is anywhere from 18 to 140 times hotter than a jalapeño, depending on the where each sits in its particular range. This, like all habaneros, is a chili for more extreme eaters. It’s a significant heat, so best to use caution when cooking with it. Use kitchen gloves when handling to prevent severe chili burn from occurring.
What does the peach habanero look like? And how’s the taste?
Its shape is like other habanero peppers, though they tend to be a little longer: approximately two inches long by one inch wide. Its skin is wrinkled and ages from green to a beautiful creamy peach hue, gaining in heat and flavor as it turns. Its color is a little like a muted version of the goat pepper’s peach-orange hues (a habanero cousin hailing from the Caribbean).
As for flavor, there’s a fruitiness to habanero peach that’s not quite as sweet as the common orange habanero, but simply delicious nonetheless.
What are the best uses for it?
There’s a wide world of opportunity here as any habanero pepper is very versatile in the kitchen, if you’re one for things extra-spicy. Fresh salsas and hot sauces are an obvious choice (and the peach color adds a nice touch to the presentation). Try it as well as a fruity heat source for summer cocktails, pickled to add a real kick to sandwiches and sides, or grilled and sliced or chopped to be added to burgers, salads, or other meals and sides. Just remember, a little goes a long way here, so unless you are accustomed to this level of the pepper scale, opt for a lesser amount (or a milder chili if you have a heavy hand when adding ingredients.)
Where can you buy peach habanero peppers?
While the common orange habanero (and some shades of red) have made their way into major grocery stores, the more unique hues are much harder to find. Check your local chili farm (if you’re lucky to have one close by) or if you garden, try growing these delicious chili peppers yourself. The plants grow to about 18 inches tall and stay rather compact, making them an excellent option for compact spaces and container gardening. You can find peach habanero seeds for sale online.
While there’s a lot here that’s like your common orange habanero, the peach habanero is such a delightful color that you’ll find yourself reaching for them for culinary presentation alone. They just look tasty (and they are) but don’t let that fool you into thinking these are tame chilies. Be prepared for the high heat.