The Color Of Heat

When it comes to peppers, you’ll find there are all different kinds of hues out there.

From bright green and yellow to fiery orange and red, the options are just about endless. There’s a lot that goes into the heat of a pepper, though, from the actual type of pepper you grow to where it’s harvested. It’s kind of deceptive then just basing a pepper off its color, because of many peppers, no matter how hot they can eventually get, start out green. They may even be harvested green, but that’s not to say they’ll stay that way. Whether you choose a sweet or hot pepper, you’ll discover that the most flavor comes out when pepper is fully ripe and mature.

Starting with sweet bell pepper, you’ll find everything from the common green or yellow bell pepper, to red and orange, but they hardly pack the heat.

While good for you, it’s more common to find a bell pepper in a salad than a spicy meal. Hot peppers, on the other hand, typically start out green, but they turn all kinds of shades as they grow and mature, from yellow and orange to red, purple or even brown. The fully ripened color of the pepper depends a lot on the variety of the pepper. Jalapenos commonly turn dark green and even a brownish-red.

A deep red in shade, the cayenne pepper certainly turns up the heat a notch, while the spicy Tabasco pepper can come in red, green, orange, or yellow. Heading up the Scoville scale, the habanero pepper, commonly used in hot sauce, ranges from light orange to bright red, while the extremely hot ghost pepper and the mouth-watering Carolina Reaper are both red when ripe, but distinguished by a Scoville scale ranking almost too hot to handle!

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