Let’s talk about hot.
Heat in chiles is measured in scoville units. The typical jalapeno ranges from 20,000-30,000 scoville units. Pequins and tai peppers range from 80,000-100,000 scoville units. Habaneros range from 200,000 to 300,000 scoville units. Bute Jolokia (known by some as ghost peppers) is supposed to be 10 times hotter than that. Commercially available hot peppers are probably limited to habaneros and below. If you are cooking, it is good to remember not to make a dish so hot you can’t taste any other flavors in that dish.
We are often asked,”What is chipotle? How is it made?” – for a brief post describing the process, head over to our sister blog Cooking With Chipotle.
Lets start with what chile and chipotle are.
Chile is not the same as chili. Chili is a soup like dish made with chile peppers. We use the term chile because of our proximity to the US / Mexico border and we take this term from the way it is referred to here. If you go further south to Columbia and below it is known as aji. Chile down there is a country.
The most common chile sold in our markets are Long Green Mild (your Numex and Anaheim types), Jalapeno, De Arbol, Bell Pepper, Poblano (Ancho when mature and dried), and Guajillo. Chipotle Morita is a smoked and dehydrated red jalapeno. In the states many people refer to them as chipotle. There are a number of types of chile that can be made into types of chipotle (chipotle verde is a smoked green jalapeno).
In our next post we will break it down further….