These are your go-to chillies at any time of the day for any occasion. The Jalapeño is one of the most popular chillies used today and the one found lining the shelves of your supermarket. Yet even though it is one of the more mild chillies available, it can still spice up your day.
Scoville Scale (SHUs)
|3,500 to 8,000 SHUs|
Claim to fame
|Most popular chilli|
Jalapeños are part of the Capsicum Annuum species. Mature jalapeños range from 5 to 10 cm in length and 25 to 38 mm in width and are characterised by round, firm, smooth skin. The chillies are normally picked and consumed green, but can also be found as orange, yellow or red. They have a range of pungency, and if you’re not accustomed to chilli they can still leave you with a burn.
How hot are we talking?
The Jalapeño is one of the weaker chillies available in the market. It’s Scoville Heat rating ranges between 3,500 and 8,000 scoville units. The Carolina Reaper, the hottest chilli on record, is 250 times hotter than the hottest Jalapeño. Even in comparison to the habanero, at a range of 100,000 - 350,000 SHU, the Jalapeño is an easy feat. So on a good day it can only really deliver a paltry parching. If you're just getting into the sweltering world of chilli eating, the Jalapeño will be your first real test. Keep in mind that repeated exposure to capsaicinoids will break down your receptors and build your immunity, so if you find yourself struggling, stick to jalapeños for a while before taking on more ardent peppers.
Where do they come from?
Like the name suggests, Jalapeños come from Jalapa, the capital of the Veracruz state on Mexico’s central-east coast. Mexico is renowned for its love of chilli so as a country they are producing a smoking 620,000 tonnes of these Jalapeños a year.
However, Jalapeños is the very broad term for this chilli and there are a lot of varieties that fall under its name.
The Mucho Nacho peppers will give you mucho heat and are one of the hottest of their kind. These peppers grow up to a full inch longer than the average Jalapeños, making them thicker, fatter, heavier and of course hotter. They rate at 4500 - 6000 on the Scoville scale.
But if you’re after something even hotter, the Rome Jalapeño at 7000 - 9000 SHU is one of the hottest Jalapeños you’ll find.
Chipotle. We’ve all heard of this chilli before and surprise, surprise it’s a Jalapeños. More specifically it’s a smoked, dried Jalapeño. Of the Chipotle there’s two types: the Chipotle Morita, a purple chilli from the north of Mexico and the Chipotle Meco, a grey chilli from central, south Mexico. They’re both recognised by their dry and earthy flavours that add a great touch to any dish.
The mildest of the Jalapeños is the Señorita Jalapeño, rating a measly 400 SHU or less. So if you want heat in a small dose, this is your go-to.
For those who want to completely skip on the heat, there are also sweet Jalapeños. These Jalapeños have been developed by cultivist for everyone's enjoyment. These are jalapeños that look, smell, taste and feel the same as normal jalapeños except that they lack capsinoids, so they don't burn.
Are you up for the challenge?
Now if you’re more than a beginner in the world of spice, you might consider yourself a competitor. The current world record sits at 275 WHOLE jalapeños in 8 minutes, that's about 35 in one minute…talk about being in the hot seat! This title was claimed by Patrick Bertoletti back in 2011. However, we here at ChilliBom believe that it’s time for a new hero…
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