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Jalapeno heat?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Good afternoon-


Several of my family's favorite recipes include a jalapeno or two, which I buy in the produce section (not much of a gardener, me...)


Anyhow, the heat produced by these jalapenos seems wildly inconsistent... some days one pepper will be perfect, other times I'll need two to get beyond "is there pepper in this?"  This makes it very difficult to get the recipes right.


Is there any means of predicting a pepper's heat?  Could I even guesstimate by noting if a batch is imported vs. domestic/hothouse vs field-grown/etc.?

post #2 of 4

Nope. It's a crapshoot. Poblanos are the same way. Most are as mild as a bell pepper but occasionally one will pack a splash of real heat. 


My advice is to taste. And remember, most of the heat is in the ribs and membrane. 

post #3 of 4
Originally Posted by ChicagoTerry View Post

My advice is to taste.


I can see someone in the produce section with a paring knife taking sample slices of various peppers before making the purchase.


It is hard to tell by just looking.  Look at the stems, though, the freshest ones will have nice thick stems, older will have dry, shriveled stems.  To my taste the fresher ones will have more bite.


The jalapenos I grew last summer were the hottest I've ever had.  I wonder how this year's batch will turn out?



Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #4 of 4

I really meant to taste once you get them home. I always buy more than I think I will need because there's just no telling how hot (or not) they are going to be. Having too many around is not an issue for me because I use them a lot and they keep pretty well. For what it's worth, in my experience, the smaller, thinner walled ones are usually a bit hotter than the big, fat, juicy ones. I grew them once and they were wimpy looking compared to the ones I find in the Mexican market here but they were powerful.

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