You may be more than ready to add chilies to your diet, but how do you know you’re choosing the right ones?
The type of chili you choose often comes down to personal taste. While some people like things extra spicy, others like their food more on the mild side.
Tip #1- Use the Scoville Scale
When you’re choosing chilies, let the Scoville Scale be your guide. Developed in the early 1900s, the Scoville Scale measures the heat of different types of chilies based on the capsaicin they contain. It starts with the bell pepper, which sits at the very bottom of the list with zero capsaicin. Choose carefully, though, because it only goes up from there!
Tip #2- Choose ripe chilies
Next, you need to make sure the chili is ripe. The ripeness often depends on which type of chili you choose. To make sure the chili is fresh, choose one with hard flesh and a bright green stem. You know when a cayenne red is fresh based on a deep red hue. Don’t choose a soft chili, either. If you’re going with a green chili, choose one before it changes red, which in this case means it is no longer fresh.
Tip #3 – Store chilies correctly
Once you get the chilis home, be sure to store them correctly. Your best bet is to keep fresh chilis in the refrigerator, inside a brown paper bag. This helps keep moisture out, which ensures the chilis don’t soften before you’re able to use them.
Tip #4 – Know your limits
Of course, you still need to know your limits when it comes to cooking with chilis. A good chef knows that chilis should be used to flavor your meal, but not overpower it. If you’re using a chili for the very first time, try not to use too many seeds all at once, either. More seeds equal more spice.