Why Hot Peppers Really Aren’t So Hot Anymore

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Have you noticed?…

Hot peppers rarely make you pucker these days, because they’re just not as hot & spicy as they used to be.

Here’s why…

Who knew things like “the environment” and the desire to “breed peppers for an attractive, uniform appearance” would have such an affect on their heat???

From Cooking Light (October 2006):

The growing environment has a huge role in the pungency of peppers, says Danise Coon, program coordinator for the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. In response to the hot, dry climate of the Southwest, chile peppers produce capsaicin, the chemical that gives the pods their sgnature burn. But as demand has grown, so has the peppers’ growing range. And plants grown in rainier and cooler parts of the country don’t produce as much capsaicin, so their peppers may lack heat.

To give you some idea…

  • Bell peppers score a zero on the Scoville scale which measures a pepper’s heat.
  • On the other end of the scale, habaneros rate 100,000 units or higher.
  • Most hot peppers these days are ranging anywhere between 2,000 to 50,000 Scoville units.

They say, for the hottest jalapenos, you should look for Early and Mitla varieties, which are generally spicier than Delicias, Tam, or even Hot varieties.

I’m on it…


I love my kitchen... and I like to cook. But my #1 requirement is that recipes have fewer than 7 ingredients (or arrive on my doorstep via a food delivery service). My absolute favorite thing about being in the kitchen is trying out new gadgets, cookware, and storage containers! I'm SUPER organized in the kitchen (and everywhere else) and I have every gadget I could possibly need neatly and compactly tucked away until I need it. I share only the simplest recipes (which is great for people who don't like to cook), along with time-saving food tips and cooking tricks (that will save you time and money). When I'm not cooking, cleaning, or organizing my kitchen... you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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