HOT Topic: HOT Peppers!
Hot peppers are a favorite item to grow for many backyard gardeners, and particularly owners of a Solar Gem Greenhouse. Known for their hot and spicy nature, hot peppers come in many varieties, in many shapes and colors, many types of hot peppers, and boy can they bring the heat to any meal! Peppers are often categorized by the quantity of spice they commonly contain, and that’s what we want to focus on today.
Scoville scale and the classification of hot peppers
One of the popular ways that peppers are classified is by the Scoville Scale…the official hot pepper scale. According to the popular website Wikipedia, “The Scoville Scale is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers or other spicy foods as reported in Scoville heat units (SHU), a function of capsaicin concentration. The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test.” So, the higher the number of SHU’s assigned to a particular variety of pepper, the spicier it will taste.
Hottest hot peppers in the world
Red Savina Habenero peppers just barely made the top 10 list of the hottest hot peppers in the world in 2014 coming in at number 10. Your average Red Savina Habenero has 500,000 SHU’s (Scoville Heat Units). Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers, by contrast, contain a sinus-melting 2 million SHU’s and are rated as one of the hottest of hot peppers in the world! Which makes a fire extinguisher and 911 on speed dial “must-have’s” if you ever plan to sample one yourself. [Sidebar: we recommend that you don’t]
Need some perspective on how hot that really is? Have you ever eaten a super spicy jalapeno pepper that set your mouth afire and made your eyes water profusely?? Think about this…your average jalapeno pepper has just 1000-4000 SHU’s. It could take 2,000 times the capsaicin concentration contained in just one spicy jalapeno to come close to that which is contained in an average Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper. WOW. Muy caliente, amigo!
An interesting question we asked ourselves as we researched this topic was “who are the poor souls who had to personally test these fiery hot peppers that make up the hottest hot peppers list?!” Ouch!
Growing your own hot peppers
No matter how daring you are in your pepper cultivation (and sampling), a Solar Gem Greenhouse can open up your world of backyard gardening and help you to be a year-round grower of the freshest and healthiest vegetables, herbs, spices, HOT PEPPERS and more. Looking for a hot pepper challenge that doesn’t require testing the hottest varieties yourself? Grow some of the milder, most flavorful hot peppers in your own Solar Gem this year!
Here’s to the wonderful world of peppers…a hot topic, indeed…may they spice up your life.