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Jalepeno Peppers

True pepper people fight often fight over which peppers are the hottest in the world. They hang out in hot pepper forums and they can give you the Scoville Units for just about any pepper that you can name. And every year there's always a new hot pepper tale about some guy living in an exotic location such as India, Thailand or Hoboken who grew the hottest peppers ever. He was off the charts on the Scoville Scale but is still in the process of getting it certified or some other excuse that makes the tale sound more like an urban legend than a world record.

I am not one of those people.

I tried habaneros and thai dragons and they were good but they were just too hot. I'm not making pepper spray for self defense, I just want a good tasting spicy pepper. So every year I grow jalepenos. Jalepeno Peppers are delicious but they aren't known for being hot. In fact, compared to other peppers they're pretty mild.

So I've figured out how to grow Jalepenos that are hotter than usual. Not killer heat but just enough of a nice kick. First thing you need to do is leave the peppers on the plants as long as possible. Here it is in October and I've still got plenty of peppers in the garden. Some of these peppers have been on the plants for weeks. They get all red and black and full of cracks and these seem to be the qualities that are related to the heat content of a pepper.

Another way to make my peppers hotter is to stress the plants. Usually in the 2nd or 3rd week of August when the plants are well established, I stop watering them. However much it rains is the amount of water they get. This summer was great because there were a few dry spells that really stressed the plants. Now if they started wilting or looking sickly, I would give them a quick blast with the hose but I didn't have to do that this year.

So how hot are my jalepenos? Let's just say that they're won't be any tales of the hottest pepper ever coming out of New Jersey this year, but they're hot enough to make my Mother-In-Law start yelling and running for the kitchen to get some water. And who needs Scoville Units when you get your peppers to do that?


  1. Ki said...
    Our jalapenos weren't hot enuf, tasty but not enough heat. Similarly the cayenne peppers were tasty but not hot enough. We bought some poblano peppers at the local farmer's market and that has a very good taste if you want pepper with no heat. I just bought some bhut jolokia seeds the hottest pepper in the world at over 1 million scoville units from the NMSU pepper institute. Will let you know how they turn out next year.
    Annie in Austin said...
    Philo likes them hot, Anthony, but I like roasted poblanos myself. Send your mother-in-law for beer or milk instead... she needs dairy or alcohol to dissolve the heat. We mothers-in-law must stick together!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    Ilona said...
    I like medium hot ( my definition of it anyway) and grew Hungarian this year. They were nicely hot and full flavored, produced really well.
    Entangled said...
    Anthony, Annie sent me, and I'm pleased to meet you. The Chile Institute at New Mexico State insists that peppers need 2" of water per week, but I'm inclined to agree with you and the folk wisdom on the subject. It's my first year growing peppers in our current location, but they turned out hotter here than when I grew them 100 miles north of here. We have sandy soil at the new place and it's been a dry year. I haven't watered them at all since shortly after planting them. They're getting very wilted after 3 weeks without rain, however, and I'll probably haul some water up to them later today.

    My M-I-L can probably eat waaay hotter peppers than I can, by the way. ;-)
    Anthony said...
    Hi guys, Yikes, sorry about the mother-in-law humor. But my MIL likes to plunder my garden without asking or even a thank you and often takes the only ripe items without leaving some for me, so I don't feel guilty about chuckling over her getting a little hot. :)

    Ki, bhut jolokia sounds like something the mailman should carry to keep away dogs. Good luck with them.

    And I'm a big big poblano fan too.

    Entangled, welcome and thanks for visiting. Sometimes folk wisdom is the way to go.

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