What’s not to love about peppers?
They add heat, sweetness, and intense flavor to so many dishes.
SOME LIKE THEM HOT
Poblano: Poblanos are green when they are younger. As they mature they turn red and when dried they are called ancho chiles. If smoked and dried, they become chipotle (often used in mole sauces). Scoville heat units: 1,000 to 2,000
Jalapeño: Famous for being stuffed with cream cheese and deep-fried as an appetizer. It can be harvested at both the green and red stages. It’s called a chipotle chile when dried and smoked. Scoville heat units: 2,500 to 5,000
Hot Red Cherry: These vary in size and shape, but are usually round. They are very hot and can also be sweet. They’re most often used in pickling. Scoville heat units: 5,000 to 15,000
Serrano: Spicier than the jalapeño, the serrano is a small Mexican pepper that’s perfect for using in hot salsa. It is most commonly sold in its green stage (it turns red and then yellow as it gets older). You can also buy pickled or dried. Size matters when it comes to this pepper–the smaller they are, the hotter they are. Scoville heat units: 6,000 to 23,000
Cayenne: Cayenne chiles are long, skinny, and very hot. This pepper is most familiar in its dried, ground form as cayenne pepper powder, which is used to make chili powder. Scoville heat units: 30,000 to 50,000
Thai: This tiny chile is packed with spice and heat and is common in Southeast Asian cuisines. They are available in green and red varieties. Scoville heat units: 50,000 to 100,000
Habanero: This pepper is native to parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Most common in orange, habaneros can also be red, yellow, and brown. Great for salsa and hot sauces. Scoville heat units: 100,000 to 350,000
SOME LIKE THEM SWEET
Bell: The most common sweet pepper, bells are usually seen in red, green, yellow, purple, brown, and orange varieties. Eat these crunchy, juicy peppers raw and in salads and sandwiches. They are also great sautéed and roasted.
Lipstick Heirloom: These pimiento-type peppers are super sweet and great fresh and in pasta, salads, and salsas.
Piquillo: This sweet red Spanish pepper is great roasted. It is most commonly available canned or jarred, but it’s becoming easier to find fresh. It is often roasted, peeled, and stuffed or added to soups.
Guindilla Verde: This is a tender and sweet Spanish pepper.
Sweet Banana: This mild sweet pepper is great fried, grilled, pickled, and in sandwiches.
Anaheim: This mild and slightly sweet chile is great stuffed, roasted, and in salads and salsas.