Chile Pepper Information

Course : Curry
Serves: 1
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Preparation / Directions:

I see that there is a lot of confusion over the terms "chile" and "chile" and "chile powder" and "powdered chiles". The correct spelling (in America) is always with one "L" in all the variations. Here is the straight scoop, from a certified (insane that is) Chile-Head. The fruit of the pepper plant, is called the "chile" or "chile pepper". A bell, a jalapeno, a cayenne, a serrano are all examples of a chile pepper. "Chili" (spelled with an "i") is a concoction of ingredients that probably originated in Texas that includes chile peppers, onions, meat, other spices and ingredients. [Texans do not put beans in their chile, but we Californians do.] "Powdered chiles" are simply dried chiles ground to a powder. "Chili powder" is a combination of powdered chiles and other spices, almost always including some cumin. The pepper plant is in the Nightshade family (along with tomatoes) and all peppers are members of the Capsicum genus. There are, as of today, 26 species of Capsicum described. Of these, most are not edible. The five most common species of edible peppers are: Capsicum annuum (Bells, Cayenne, Jalapenos, New Mexican, Anaheims) C. baccatum (Aji peppers from South America) C. chinense (Habanero and Scotch Bonnets) C. frutescens (Tabasco peppers) C. pubescens (South American rocoto peppers). The different chile peppers (Bells, Cayenne, Jalapenos, New Mexican, Anaheims) within a species are referred to as "cultivars". How hot are chile peppers? The most popular scale for measuring the heat of chile peppers is the scale of Scoville Heat Units. Bell pepper or pimento on this scale is rated 0 Anaheim is rated 500 to 2,500 Jalapeno is rated 2,500 to 5,000 Serrano is rated 5,000 to 25,000 Cayenne is rated 30,000 to 50,000 Thai is rated 50,000 to 100,000 Scotch Bonnet or Habanero is rated 150,000 to 350,000 Red Savina Habanero is rated 300,000 to 500,000 The pure Capsaicin extract is rated 15,000,000 to 16,000,000 Pepper spray is the pure extract diluted with water.

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