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What's your favorite chili pepper? - Page 2

post #31 of 45
I'll also try taking out the ribs, or some of them.

Petals, I read that article in my Smithsonian. I love that magazine.:thumb:
post #32 of 45
DC, endorphins are released in response to pain. That's why chiliheads love the burn; it leads to an endorphin rush.

And they do love it. I once jokingly suggested to a chilihead friend that I was gonna make him a capsaicin tincture that would come in at about 1-million SKUs. Rather than shying away, his eyes lit up in anticipation, and he actually wanted me to make up such a witches brew. Mama having not raised any fools, I declined.

One reason to learn about heat levels and flavor profiles is so you can make realistic substitutions.

For instance, Chinchi Uchu is a C. chinense with a fair amount of heat. It's also very small; takes about five of them to cover your thumbnail. In terms of culinary heat, however, each of them is about equal to a Serrano. So, if you wanted that smoky, tropical heat flavor in a dish normally calling for a Serrano, you could use one Chinchi Uchu instead.

There's aother clue in there for controlling heat. Nobody says you have to use an entire pod. Just the tip of a Habanero might give you the heat/flavor profile you're looking for, whereas the entire pod might provide too much.

Same goes for removing the pods. Cut a slice or two in a Habenero pod, let it cook in the dish for X amount of time, and remove it. That, too, cuts down on the blistering heat.

You can see this syndrome in Thai and Setchuan foods. If you push the chilies aside, a particular dish might be very palatable to you. Actually bite into one of those little devils, though, and your mouth is exploding.

Note that I keep using the terms "culinary heat" and "perceived heat" in this discussion. That's because the heat you get in a dish has only a proportionate relationship to SHUs, which, themselves, are a measure of relative heat, not absolute measurements. That's why we call it an index.

FWIW, the SHUs were originally derived thusly. One ounce of the chili was ground up and mixed with sugar water. The sweetener continued to be added until test subjects could no longer discern the heat. The responses from 100 testers were averaged to arrive at the figure.

So, if it took, say, ten ounces of sugar water before the heat disappeared, that particular pepper had an SHU number of ten. If it took 150,000 ounces, that was the assigned SHU number. Etc.

Today we do the measurements with a chromowhatchmacallitograph. But it's keyed to replicate the original proceedure---which, it turns out, was surprisingly accurate.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #33 of 45
Ghost chili from India, measured scoville of 855,000 and I heard another measurement over 1 million. Bhut Jolokia pepper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
post #34 of 45
Great info KYH....I've heard of the concentrates that chilliheads love. Dunno how they can take that sort of heat. It doesn't surprise me that the original method was pretty accurate. One works to the devices and technologies of the times. A wheel has always been round :) (ok there's probably some *very early exceptions) but they are still round.

Mary B....it's no wonder that it's called a ghost chili at that level of heat. Whew!

KYH - your Momma certainly raised no fools
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #35 of 45
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #36 of 45
My favorite is a Poblano, smoky, versatile, flavorful, and easily sped up or slowed down as the basis of a dish.

For fry up, I've been refining my Jalapeno popper recipe. It would have bacon bits but the wife is vegetarian. Boo-Hoo.

Recently we ate habanero poppers at Chino Latino in Minneapolis over the holidays. Easily the hottest thing I have ever eaten. they weree served with an ice shot glass filled with lime sorbet. The wife was eating it with her fingers. And it was the first time i experienced that cold chill after spicy food. Awesome.
post #37 of 45
If I have to nail down a favorite, it's going to be the Scotch Bonnet. The heat dies quickly and there's a nice flavor there that I can't quite nail down but, to quote my dad, "It's like being punched by a super model, but then she kisses you."
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #38 of 45
Sambal oelek, an Indonesian chili sauce, is so good. What I've had is in a class by itself, to my taste. The ingredients are chili, vinegar and salt, which hardly give a clue. It's kind of sweet but plenty hot at the same time, and has a flavor that is not like any other hot sauce that I've had.
post #39 of 45
Thread Starter 
I've had Sambal Oelek since I was a little kid. That's always been a staple in my fridge. I eat it with rice, pasta, couscous etc... when we were kids we used to take several full tablespoons of the stuff.

I love it. I only discovered its name years later. To me it was always known as the "spicy sauce".
post #40 of 45
I looked around the internet for an idea of what makes sambal oelek taste the way it does, and I found a reference to using "lombok", a certain type of chile. Maybe that's it. I use Huy Fong brand.
post #41 of 45
Thread Starter 
I've been a bit disappointed by the versions I've found in the US. I used to buy a tiny little jar from Suzi Wan - haven't found it in the US though.

post #42 of 45
Like and use all that are available for what dish they best suit. Because of my enjoyment of chilis en nogadas, if I had to choose one, it would be the poblano.
post #43 of 45
Great Picture ...I gotta say I like sambal oelek to as a favorite "go to" for heat. Sweet chilli sauce is nice but pretty tame, still useful in many dishes though.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #44 of 45
Thread Starter 
I love sweet chili sauce too! But to me that's something new, I just recently discovered it. Goes wonderful with thai corn fritters... or seemingly anything deep fried.

Sambal Oelek... now that's my entire childhood. :thumb:
post #45 of 45
Man no one has mentioned my all-time favorite; hot cherry peppers (red). I love those things! I was introduced to them in a Todd English restaurant I worked in where they came in jars pickled in vinegar and I ate them on everything, Nicoise, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, calamari, sauteed with olive oil, parsley, s&p and served as a side, absolutely scrumptious. I was able to find them fresh on occasion from local organic grocers. They're not too hot either, about the same as a red jalapeno, which is my second favorite. Why no one gets these or uses them is beyond me. The commercial jalapeno these days is a joke, mass produced and sheltered from sunlight before ripening, its a shame. Death to industrialized food!! :laser:
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