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 This method was believed to be somewhat unreliable and has been replaced by High Performance Liquid Chromatography.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.
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
Chocolate Habanero=425,000-577,000 Serrano=10,000-23,000
Red Savina Habanero=350,000-577,000 Hungarian=5,000-10,000
Scotch Bonnet=100,000-350,000 Poblano=1,000-1,500
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.
- Cream together cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until smooth.
- 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.