Red chilies point out in bunches like little red fingers. We harvest them by pulling the entire plant and hanging it upside down in the barn to dry. We love them in Thai food.
The dried “ristas” look beautiful strung on a wire in the kitchen waiting to be plucked into a pot of chili or bowl of salsa for moderate hotness.
The little fish pepper, not only shows white and green striped leaves, but variegation on the spicy fruit, as well.
New to Quiet Creek’s hot pepper list, Gold Gems are a neat little pepper that starts out black, the size of a large acorn, and turn a golden orange. Wow do they pack a large punch of fire into a tiny package!
Another fiery addition, the tabago seasoning peppers look like bright pumpkin candy. None of us were able to ingest more than a sliver.
Hot peppers are measured using the Scoville Heat Scale originated by Wilber Scoville in 1912. His Scoville unit of “0” indicates a sweet pepper where the hottest of all, the Tepin, is rated at 600,000 units. This scale measures the amount of capsaicin in the pepper. Capsaicin actually burns the tissue it touches (i.e. the mouth or hand) and releases pain from the impacted nerve endings. The human tongue does not have taste buds for “hotness” like it does for sweetness and saltiness.
People who have developed a tolerance for hot peppers have actually damaged their nerve cells, so it takes more and more capsaicin to get the wanted hotness.
Why go through the pain? Research scientists hypothesize that the nerve receptors, affected by the capsaicin, may release endorphins that the pepper eater experiences as a “high.”
As for processing high-end Scoville peppers, one should wear rubber gloves and avoid rubbing any part of his/her body. The innards of the peppers are hotter than the flesh, so decide early on if they will be consumed in your spicy concoctions. If you accidently get the hot juice anywhere, liberally rinse with milk or mild alcohol beverage. Water will only spread the hotness, not dissolve it.
Hot peppers come in many sizes, colors, and heat degrees. Please stop by and try a few, we’ll pair you up with a “hot” date.