At Ashley Foods, we are almost continuously thinking about chili peppers. We say almost because our job requires us to think about a lot of different ingredients and food items too. (And yes, truly, we do leave work and have perfectly normal concerns just like anyone else.) But, we can’t help it, when some new piece of news emerges about chili peppers, we get simultaneous whiplash from checking it out.
And, you can believe that happened when we heard that farmers are trying to grow hotter jalapeños. Seriously.
Now, we have some questions about this (as surely you do too), but let’s lay it on the line first. In California, Aziz Baameur is a farm advisor. He works with vegetable growers in Santa Clara and San Benito counties. And, his current aim is the development of hotter jalapeños.
Now, here’s the thing. Jalapeños have a delicious flavor. If you’re a bona fide chili head, it was likely the initial taste of jalapeños that drew you into the craving for heat. They are simply the mildest hot pepper that you can pick up at any grocery store. But, jalapeños are hardly that fiery; they have about the same potency as Tabasco sauce.
So, on the one hand, why not take the flavor of jalapeños and fill them with heat?
On the other side, it is not like jalapeños are the only peppers out there. There are so many delicious and wildly potent chili peppers that can do the same job that hotter jalapeños would do, right? What then, would be the point of developing hotter jalapeños?
Could it be that jalapeño farmers are just not finding the business that they need in the face of the Scorpions, Ghosts, and Carolinas? But, simultaneously, more restaurants are beginning to offer hot sauces on their menus. And they are likely to call for a lot of jalapeños because it is such a mild pepper. It seems as though hotter jalapeños would be detrimental for business, wouldn’t it?
All we know is that we have plenty of questions. And, we’re sure you do too. Starting with… when are we going to get a taste of hotter jalapeños? After all, just because we don’t see the need for these peppers, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to try them. How about you?