Kinds of Peppers and How They Are Used
There are a lot of different peppers that are incredibly different from each other in terms of looks and spiciness. It is the spiciness that is its most important characteristic. It’s measured in Scoville Heat Units and it varies from 0, like bell peppers up to 3,180,000 which is the spiciest pepper in the world, Pepper X.
5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you about the kinds of peppers there are, how they are different, and what meals they are used for.
Note: Always protect your skin with gloves and never touch your eyes when working with spicy peppers. It’s also a good idea to have some dairy products near you, like milk or yogurt, that help neutralize the chemical that makes peppers spicy.
Bell or sweet peppers
- Description: chili peppers are used in many cuisines as a spice for meals. There are many kinds of chili pepper with different levels of spiciness, such as cayenne pepper, jalapeño, habanero, and many others. The spiciest chili pepper is Pepper X.
- Scoville scale: depending on the kind — from 0 to 3,180,000 SHU
- Description: it’s a kind of chili pepper from Spain with a sweet, soft taste that has a smoky flavor. It’s about 3-4 inches long with a bit of a curve at the tip. They look like a little beak.
- Scoville scale: from 500 to 1,000 SHU
- Where it’s used: it’s marinated, stuffed with meat, seafood, or cheese, canned, and used in sandwiches and salads.
- Description: it’s a moderately spicy kind of chili pepper. Cayenne peppers are a group of tapering peppers that are 4-9 inches long. They are usually quite thin. They have a curved tip and rippling skin. They hang from a bush and don’t grow vertically.
- Scoville scale: from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU
- Where it’s used: this pepper is one of the ingredients of cayenne powder that can be a mix of different kinds of chili peppers. Cayenne pepper is used as a dry powder or fresh to make all kinds of food with eggs, seafood, meat, stews, and spicy sauces.
- Description: this is a pepper with a soft flavor from Mexico. It’s also called “ancho” when it’s dried. An unripe poblano pepper has a dark-green color, and ripe ones become dark red, almost black.
- Scoville scale: from 1,000 to 1,500 SHU.
- Where it’s used: poblano peppers are used dried, when they are fresh, they are stuffed, fried, canned, and used in Mexican cuisine. Dried peppers are ground into a powder used in different meals.
- Description: this is another kind of chili pepper. It is the base of the spicy tabasco sauce. Tabasco peppers are cone-shaped, and about 1.5 inches long. At first, they are yellow-green, and as they ripen, they become yellow, orange, and even bright red. This is the only kind of chili pepper that is juicy inside and not dry.
- Scoville scale: from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU
- Where it’s used: tabasco sauce. The pepper is ground and then mixed with salt and vinegar that neutralize the spiciness. The sauce, in turn, is used for steaks, chicken, baked potatoes, soups, and Mexican, Caribbean, and Asian meals.
- Description: this looks like small bell pepper and can be red, yellow, and orange. It has black seeds inside. The plant has hairy leaves. Rocoto peppers have a fresh fruit-like taste.
- Scoville scale: from 2,400 to 250,000 SHU
- Where it’s used: the pepper is stuffed, served as an addition to other meals, and used for making salsa.
- Description: this pepper is also known as a yellow wax pepper or banana chili pepper. It’s average-sized and bright yellow (it can also be green, red, and orange as it ripens). The spiciness of a banana pepper depends on how ripe it is. Ripe peppers are sweeter than young ones.
- Scoville scale: from 0 to 500 SHU
- Where it’s used: banana peppers are marinated, stuffed, and used to make spices and salsa.
- Description: this is a Mexican pepper — a kind of chili pepper. They are usually harvested when they are still green. If you let them ripen, they become red and take on a fruity flavor.
- Scoville scale: from 4,000 to 8,500 SHU
- Where it’s used: salsa and other kinds of sauces. Jalapeños are also smoked (and called chipotle), stuffed, marinated, used in jellies, and served as appetizers.
- Description: this is a long and narrow pepper, a kind of chili pepper. When it’s fresh, it’s called chilaca, and when it’s dried, it’s pasilla. It has dark, wrinkly skin. Fresh chilaca is about 9 inches long and has a twisted shape. When it ripens, it changes its color from dark green to dark brown.
- Scoville scale: from 1,000 to 3,999 SHU
- Where it’s used: chilaca is fried or soaked and mixed with sauces, often with fruits.
- Description: this is one of the spiciest peppers on the Scoville scale, and it’s also a kind of chili pepper. Unripe habaneros are green and they change color as they become ripe. There are orange and red ones, but they can also be white, brown, yellow, green, and purple. Ripe habaneros are around 2 inches long.
- Scoville scale: from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU
- Where it’s used: used as an ingredient in spicy sauces and other spicy meals.