Hot Peppers! 

With summer just around the corner, what a great time to talk about peppers. 

HOT peppers that is!

What Makes Peppers Hot?

There is a chemical, called CAPSAICIN, found in peppers that give them their heat. Up to 80% of a pepper’s heat is found in the seeds and membrane (the ribs) of the pepper. Some research even states that ALL of the capsaicin is in the membrane. So… if you don’t want the heat, remove the seeds and ribs of the pepper in question. Another tidbit to determine heat is the size of the pepper. The tinier the pepper, the hotter the pepper can be because the smaller peppers have a higher proportion of seeds and membrane.

Determining the Heat of a Pepper

In 1912, the Scoville Scale was developed. This scale was based on human taste buds detecting heat from oil abstracts of various peppers as the abstracts were diluted. The more the extract has to be diluted to eliminate the heat, the hotter the pepper. This method was believed to be somewhat unreliable and has been replaced by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. This method is still highly related to the Scoville Scale which continues as the standard.

Scoville Scale

Pure Capsaicin = 15,000,000

Carolina Reaper=1,400,000-2,200,000                                   Aji=30,000-50,000

Trinidad Scorpion=1,200,000-2,000,000                                Tabasco=30,000-50,000

Ghost=855,000-1,041,427                                                        Arbol=15,000-30,000

Chocolate Habanero=425,000-577,000                                  Serrano=10,000-23,000

Red Savina Habanero=350,000-577,000                                Hungarian=5,000-10,000

Fatali=125,000-325,000                                                           Chipotle=5,000-8,000

Habanero=100,000-350,000                                                    Jalapeno=2,500-8,000

Scotch Bonnet=100,000-350,000                                           Poblano=1,000-1,500

Thai=50,000-100,000                                                               Anaheim=500-2,500

Cayenne=30,000-50,000                                                         Pepperoncini=100-500

                                                                                                 Bell Pepper=0

As Hot As You Want Dip

1-2 peppers of your choice (I used 1 Serrano & 1 Jalapeno) chopped fine

8 oz cream cheese

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise 

Juice of ½ of a lime

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine & a few leaves for garnish

Salt to taste

Milk – 1 Tablespoon for desired consistency.

  1. Cream together cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine using milk as needed for a thinner consistency.

Makes 1 ½ Cups without thinning with milk. Great with tortilla chips and cut vegetables. Use also as a great spread on bagels or flour tortillas.