Bell peppers, hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, I’m a pepper, your a pepper….I sometimes get carried away. I am not a fan of many veggies, but I do love a good selection of peppers. The jalapeno is probably my favorite that I enjoy on burgers, salads, and subs. In the past I have enjoyed throwing some peppers on the grill to brown them slightly.
The sweet varieties of peppers, especially the bells, traditionally have been by far the most popular in the United States. Hot pepper varieties have also enjoyed a rebirth of popularity recently, mainly due to various ethnic cuisines that use their unique flavors and heat creatively. I like a small amount of “kick” that a hot pepper provides when added to a variety of dishes.
A= Pasilla: Pod length is 6-12″ long and 1-2″ wide. Fruit color is dark green, turning brown at maturity. Usually dried before use in moles and salsas.
B= Cayenne: Mature red fruit are 5-10″ long and wrinkled. Irregular in shape, highly pungent, often used as dried, ground powder. Also used fresh in salads, sauces and dishes.
C= Long Green: (Hatch – New Mexican – Anaheim) chili. Fruit are from 4 – 12″ long & 2″ wide, green to red at maturity, but also may be yellow, orange to brown. Many different varieties abound. Range from sweet to hot. Used green as fresh, canned or frozen. Mature are usually dried and ground into chili powder or paprika if sweet. Also used in salsas.
D= Wax: Yellow when immature, orange-red at maturity. Can be pungent or non-pungent. Vary from 2-8″ long and about 2″ wide. Used pickled or fresh in salads and relishes.
E=Jalapeno: Fruit are thick walled, conical shaped, dark green when immature turning red at maturity and most cultivars are highly pungent. Fruit may show cracking or corkiness, which is a desirable trait in Mexico. Length varies widely. Used canned, pickled, salsas or fresh. When dried by smoking they are called chipotle.
F= Ancho: (Poblano) The fruit are heart shaped, pointed, thin walled with an indented stem attachment. Immature fruit are dark green with mature fruit being either red or brown. Fruit are 3-4″ long and about 2″ wide and are mildly pungent. The pepper of choice to make chili rellenos.
G= Cherry. Like the name suggests, round or slightly flattened, green to red, hot or sweet. Similar use to wax pepper.
H= Chinense: (Habanero. Scotch Bonnet Bahamian- Jamaican) In this species, diversity is enormous. Popular in Jamaica, Yucatan and Brazil. Very, very hot and persistent, but aromatic. Fruit are 1-2.5″ long and 1-2″ wide. Green to variable mature colors of yellow, orange, red or white. Used dried as a spice, fresh or processed. Plant starts slower than most other pepper types.
I=Serrano: Fruit are 112″ wide and 2-3″ long. Medium walls and shaped similar to Jalepeno and is the pepper of choice in Salsa Verde and other southwestern relishes.
J= Red Chili: 1/2″ wide by 2.5″ long fruit are green when immature to red at maturity. Fruit have thin walls, taper to a point. and are used for drying, processing and sauce. Hot!
K=Thai Hot: Green fruit to red at maturity, very hot, tiny 3/8″ wide by 1″ long fruit. Popular in oriental markets.
O= Ornamentals: Peppers classified, as ornamentals do not carry a characteristic that makes them in edible. They are individuals from the many groups previously listed that happen to have leaves and fruit that are particularly attractive and give them ornamental value.
Quick tip to surviving the hot pepper – Counteract the hot taste of a chile pepper by consuming milk, bread, or rice to absorb the intensity of the capsaicin.
For more detailed information about peppers and cooking preparations visit www.recipetips.com
(Source – backyardgardener.com, recipetips.com)