How spicy is that hot pepper?

There are thousands of hot peppers in the world

But how do you know which pepper is right for you? You can’t typically just look at a pepper and know how hot it is. You can try slicing it open and using your sense of smell. Sometimes, you can pick up the pungency of a pepper through your nose. Of course, there’s probably a better way. You can always check your pepper on the Scoville Chart. The hot pepper scale ranks different varieties of peppers based on their Scoville Heat Units, or SHUs. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper.

Green peppers don’t even register on the heat scale

But color doesn’t always tell the whole story. While the bell pepper is often green, you can also find it in yellow, orange or even red. A deep green poblano pepper is relatively mild, but it doesn’t stay that color. An Anaheim pepper, or hatch pepper, is usually light green. Habanero peppers are sweet and fruity, but they also pack some real spice! In other words, don’t be deceived by what they look like. While a mild habanero doesn’t rank very high on the Scoville pepper scale at all, ghost peppers and Carolina Reaper peppers pack quite a punch!

Grocery stores don’t always carry a very large selection of peppers.

Typically, they sell some of the most common, mild peppers that people use. If you’re feeling adventurous, go beyond the grocery store for your hot peppers and hot pepper products. You can also try growing your own peppers at home. Some people grow peppers in small quantities inside. Just make sure you have enough light. You can also try growing them in your home garden. Even the ones you don’t eat yourself can be crushed up and used to keep pests away from your other plants and veggies.  

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