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The definitive hot chile pepper guide para gringos, la guia definitiva de los chiles picantes pa to's los gringos en gringolandia.





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First off a word about SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS (SHU). The Scoville scale (named after its creator, gringisimo pharmacist Wilbur Scoville) is the measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers.

The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes.



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bell pepper image Sweet bell pepper: 0 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The standard green bell pepper, roughly the size of a large fist. The mildest of the mild.











banana pepper image Banana pepper: 0-500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Also known as the Yellow wax pepper, has a mild, sweet taste that is very popular on many types of foods, you see these available as topping options for your sandwich at Subway (no affiliation between Heliotricity.com and Subway).







trinidad perfume image Trinidad Perfume chili pepper: 0-500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). These are mild chili peppers with very little to no heat. It is a habañero type and produces pods similar to a typical orange habañero pepper, about 1 to 1.5 inches in length and 1.25 inches wide.









cubanelle image Cubanelle chili pepper: 0 - 1,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Capsicum Annuum. Considered a sweet pepper, although its heat can range from mild to moderate. Cubanelles are usually picked before they ripen, while they are a yellowish-green color, but when ripe, they turn bright red.







Pimento (or Pimiento) chili pepper: 100 - 500 SHU. Not just for stuffing olives. Gringo note (Pimiento means "pepper" in Spanish.)


cherry pepper image Cherry pepper: 100 - 500 SHU. See "Pimento" chili pepper.







pepperoncini image Pepperoncini: 100-500 SHU. Also known as Tuscan Peppers. These sweet, mild chili peppers are found in Italy and Greece. Commonly found in the states on Greek salads, when biting in to them one must use caution so that the juice does not spray ones own eye (this has never happened to me.)









numex r naky image NuMex R Naky chili pepper: 250-750 SHU. Anaheim-type hybrid created by Dr. Nakayama of New Mexico State University in 1985.



















pasilla pepper image Pasilla chili pepper: 250 - 3,999 SHU. Pasilla or "little raisin" properly refers to the dried chilaca pepper. The chilaca, when fresh, is also known as pasilla bajio, or as the chile negro or "Mexican negro" because, while it starts off dark green, it ends up dark brown. It typically grows from 8 to 10 inches long.




paprika pepper image Paprika chili pepper: 250 - 1000 SHU. A large, cone-shaped chili pepper. It is dried and ground to make the more familiar powdered spice.











sonora chile image Sonora chili pepper:
300–600 SHU. The Sonora is an Anaheim variety with a very mild flavor. It grows to about 10” in length and up to 1 ½” wide, and although it matures to red, it is commonly used in its less mature, green form. Mild but nevertheless prone to inspire a Lord Kitchener attuned snacker to crow "Shake, shake, shake, Sonora, shake your body line..."








aji panca image Ají Panca: 500 SHU. The Panca chili (or Ají Panca as it’s known in South America), is a deep red to burgundy pepper, measuring 3-5 inches.












santa fe grande image Santa Fe Grande chili pepper: 500 - 700 SHU. Also known as the yellow hot chile and the guero chile. Approximately 5 inches long and ripen from greenish-yellow, to orange-yellow to red.














anaheim chile image Anaheim chili pepper: 500 - 1,000 SHU. A mild, medium sized chili pepper that grows to 6-10 inches, often used when green, though it can be used when red.



















coronado image Coronado chili pepper: 700-1,000 SHU. Originally from South America, the Coronado Pepper grows to 4” long and 2” wide with thin, waxy skin.










poblano pepper image Poblano chili pepper: 1,000 - 2,000 SHU. Extremely popular chili pepper. 4 inches long, very dark green in color, ripening to dark red or brown. You can often find these stuffed with various delightful fillings in Mexican cuisine, ¡Que rico!








ancho chile image Ancho chili pepper: 1,000 - 2,000 SHU. An Ancho (wide) pepper is dried form of the poblano chili pepper.















chilaca chile image Chilaca: 1,000-2,500 SHU. The Chilaca is a curved, long, thin pepper, that grows to about 6-9 inches, and 1 inch wide.











hatch chile image Hatch chili peppers: 1,000 - 2,500 SHU. Hatch chili peppers are grown and harvested in Hatch Valley, New Mexico. They are harvested in late July and early August and have a mild to medium flavor. The peppers are long and curved, much like the Anaheim chili pepper, and are perfect for stuffing.







cascabel chile image Cascabel chili peppers: 1,000-3,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. The Cascabel Chile is grown in several areas of Mexico. It is small and round, 2-3 cm in diameter, and matures to a deep red.








Picuante/ Peppadew chili pepper: 1,177 SHU. Capsicum Baccatum. These are grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa, and is actually the brand name of sweet piquanté peppers.

Aji chili pepper: 1,177 - 75,000 SHU. Also known generally as the Peruvian hot pepper, aji is the common name primarily in South America and areas of the Caribbean for chili peppers.

Española chili pepper: 1,500-2,000 SHU. The Española was developed in New Mexico in the 1980s by crossing a Sandia pepper with another New Mexico chile.

Rocotillo chili pepper: 1,500-2,500 SHU. There is some confusion about the rocotillo chili pepper, since some appear to be from Capsicum baccatum and some from Capsicum Chinense.

NewMex Joe E. Parker chili pepper: 1,500-3,000 SHU. This New Mexico variety was named after Mr. Joe E. Parker, a graduate of NMSU’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics, who helped to evaluate this selection of chile.

Mulato chili pepper: 2,500-3,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. The Mulato is a mild to medium dried Poblano, similar to the Ancho, but with a slightly different flavor.

New Mex Big Jim chili pepper: 2,500-3,000 SHU. This giant chili pepper was introduced by New Mexico State University in the 1970s as a cross between a few different types of local chiles and a Peruvian chile.

mirasol image Mirasol chili pepper: 2,500-5,000 SHU. The name Mirasol means "looking at the sun" in Spanish, which describes the way these peppers grow on the plant. They are known as Guajillo in their dried form, which are one of the main chiles used in traditional mole sauces.








Guajillo chili pepper: 2,500-5,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. The Guajillo is one of the most common and popular chiles grown and used in Mexico. It is mild to moderately hot, and has dark, reddish brown, leathery skin.

Jalapeño chili pepper: 2,500 - 8,000 SHU. The world's most popular chili pepper! Harvested when they are green or red if allowed to ripen, about 4-6 inches long. A chipotle is a smoked jalapeño chili pepper.

Purple Jalapeño chili pepper: 2,500 - 8,000 SHU. The Purple Jalapeño is an ornamental version of the typical jalapeño pepper.

Chipotle chili pepper: 2,500 - 8,000 SHU. A chipotle is a smoked jalapeno chili pepper. You'll notice the distinctive smoky flavor of certain foods like salsas that have been prepared with chipotle peppers. Very delicious.

Morita chili pepper: 2,500 - 8,000 SHU. A smoked red jalapeño, similar to a chipotle pepper.


wilbur scoville image Fresno chili pepper: 2,500-10,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. The Fresno pepper looks and tastes almost like a jalapeño, but they can be much hotter. Fresno peppers change from green to red as they grow, and increase in hotness, but they are often harvested and sold as green.






New Mexico 6-4 Heritage chili pepper: 3,000-5,000 SHU. The New Mexico 6-4 Heritage chile pepper was developed around 1998 from a seed bank of the original New Mexico 6-4.


chimayo pepper image Chimayo chili pepper: 4,000 - 6,000 SHU. The Chimayo is another New Mexico chile, but it is a unique one. It is not commercially mass produced, but is more commonly grown in individual homes and gardens, making them unpredictable and un-conforming, in a good way.








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Sandia chili pepper: 5,000 - 7,000 SHU. Another chili from New Mexico, the Sandia grows to 6-7” and is similar to the Anaheim pepper. They start green and ripen to red, but are often used while green.

Puya chili pepper: 5,000 - 8,000 SHU. The Puya chile is similar to the Guajillo, but smaller and hotter.

Hungarian Wax: 5,000-15,000 SHU. The Hungarian Wax Pepper, as its name suggests, originated in Hungary.


serrano pepper image Serrano pepper: 5,000 - 23,000 SHU. A smaller version of the jalapeño, similar in color, but smaller, about 1 to 2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide. Dark green to redish in color. Look at the SHUs ascending...









Bishop’s Crown chili pepper: 5,000 - 30,000 SHU. Capsicum Baccatum. This chile is a member of the Capsicum Baccatum species, which includes the Ají pepper.


peter pepper image Peter Pepper: 5,000 - 30,000 SHU. Capsicum annuum. This very interesting little chili makes a great conversation piece in the garden or in the kitchen due to its distinctively phallic shape, hence its name.













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Shipkas chili pepper: 5,000-30,000 SHU. Also known as the “Bulgarian Carrot Pepper,” this interesting little chili pepper looks remarkably like a carrot, with its bright orange color and long, narrow body.

Hidalgo chili pepper: 6,000-17,000 SHU. The Hidalgo is an heirloom pepper, similar in shape and hotness to the Serrano, originally from Mexico and Central America.

Aleppo: About 10,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. Also known as the Halaby pepper, is named after the city of Aleppo in Northern Syria. It is commonly grown in Syria and Turkey, and is usually dried and crushed.


bolivian rainbow image Bolivian Rainbow chili pepper: 10,000 - 30,000 SHU. Grown for centuries in Bolivia (Central South America), the Bolivian Rainbow chile is a stunningly beautiful plant.










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Baker's Hot chili pepper: 15,000 - 30,000 SHU. The Barker’s Hot is an extra-hot chile, the hottest of the Anaheim/ New Mexico variety, and it has great flavor.

Lemon Drop Chile Pepper: 15,000-30,000 SHU. This bright yellow, citrus-flavored chile is also known as Kellu Uchu in Peru, where it originated.


jwala finger pepper image Jwala Finger Hot chili pepper: 20,00 0- 30,000 SHU. The Jwala is the most popular chile in India, adding great flavor and spice to many Indian dishes. Pure mischief upon ones buds.














Ají Limo: 30,000 - 50,000 SHU. The Limo chile (or Ají Limo) is another super-hot chili from Peru. (Ají is the term for chile pepper in South America.)

Ají Amarillo: 30,000 - 50,000 SHU. “Amarillo” means yellow in Spanish, and “Ají” is the South American term for chile, this pepper is also appropriately known as the “yellow chile.” Don't be confused though, it certainly will not run when confronted.


chile de arbol image Chile de Árbol chili pepper: Sources rate this chile in 2 categories - 15,000 - 30,000 and 50,000 - 65,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. Chiles de Árbol are small and thin Mexican peppers, growing to 2-3 inches long and less than a ½ inch wide.








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Tabasco pepper: 30,000 - 50,000 SHU. You may recognize this one, it is in fact the very chili pepper used in Tabasco sauce. The fruit is tapered and under 2 inches long. The color is usually creamy yellow to red.


red cayenne pepper image Cayenne pepper: 30,000 - 50,000 SHU. A thin chile pepper, green to red in color, about 2 to 3 inches long. The "cayenne pepper" spice you use is the dried, ground version of this pepper.










bird pepper image Chile Pequin chili pepper: 30,000 - 60,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. Also spelled Piquin, this chile is also called Bird Pepper, because it is consumed and spread by wild birds.












rocoto chile image Rocoto chili pepper: 30,000 - 100,000 SHU. AKA the Manzano pepper. This chili pepper is normally found in South America. It is among the oldest of domesticated chili peppers, and was grown up to as much as 5000 years ago. It is probably related to undomesticated chili peppers that still grow in South America.



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Guntur Sannam chili pepper: 35,000 - 40,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. Grown in and around Guntur and Warangal in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. See photo below of Heliotricity Spice brand packages of Sanaam Chiles as well as Tien Tsin Chiles. Heliotricity, indudablemente la mejor marca en to' el mu. ¡Mmm sabroso!

Super Chili chili pepper: 40,000 - 50,000 SHU. These small peppers grow upright in clusters and mature from light green to red, often with shades of orange in between.

Santaka chili pepper: 40,000-50,000 Scovilles. From Japan, a hot and flavorful Asian variety, perfect for Asian cooking, especially stir-fries.


rocoto chile image Tien Tsin pepper: 50,000 - 75,000 SHU. Named after the province in China where its harvest originally took place. Heliotricity Spices, indudablemente la mejor marca en to' el mu. ¡Mmm sabroso!









birds eye chile image Bird’s Eye: 50,000 - 100,000 SHU. This tiny chili originated in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, and surrounding countries, but they can now be found all over the world.







Chiltepin chili pepper: 50,000 - 100,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. The Chiltepin, or Chiltepine, is a tiny, round or oval shaped, red to orange-red chile, measuring about .8cm in diameter.

Thai chili pepper: 50,000 - 100,000 SHU. Despite the common belief, there is no single "Thai chili pepper" though most candidates for the title are small in size and high in heat or pungency. There are at least 79 separate varieties of chili that have appeared from three species in Thailand.


dundicut chile image Dundicut chili pepper: 55,000 - 65,000 SHU. Capsicum Annuum. These small, round chili peppers from Pakistan grow to about ½ inch to 1 inch in diameter, and are dark red in color.









New Mex XX Hot chili pepper: 60,000 - 70,000 SHU. Another of the many New Mexico varieties. You can see by the Scoville Heat Units that is quite hot.

Diablo Grande chili pepper: 60,000 - 100,000 SHU. Comes from the same group that includes jalapeños, poblanos, cayenne, and Serrano peppers.

Malagueta chili pepper:
60,000 - 100,000 SHU. Similar in appearance to the Bird’s Eye chili or the Thai chili because of its bright red color and short, tapered body. It starts out green and matures to red, and grows to only about 2 inches.

Charleston Hot chili pepper: 70,000 - 100,000 Scovilles. Similar to the Carolina Cayenne, a variety of Cayenne created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in South Carolina.

Red Amazon chili pepper: 75,000 SHU. The Red Amazon is actually dried Tabasco chile, but since it is so commonly known in this form, we included it separately here.


yatsufusa chile image Yatsufusa chili pepper: 75,000 SHU. Also known as Japanese chile. Originating in Japan, these chiles come from small plants (the name refers to a dwarf tree) and grow upward in clusters around yellow flowers.









Tabiche chili pepper: 85,000 - 115,000 SHU. Originally from India, can now be found growing worldwide and often year-round, but it does best in hot, dry climates.


birdseye pepper image Bahamian chili pepper: 95,000-110,000 SHU. As its name suggests, the Bahamian pepper originates from the Bahamas, where it is still one of the major agricultural crops.










Carolina Cayenne chili pepper:
100,000-125,000 SHU. Similar in appearance to the original cayenne, this variety is twice as hot and appears slightly wider.


birdseye pepper image African Bird’s Eye/ African Devil: 175,000 SHU. Also sometimes known as Piri Piri, the African Bird’s Eye is a small chile, growing to only about 1 inch, but they pack a lot of punch.
















jamaican hot image Jamaican Hot: 100,000-200,000 SHU. As the name strongly suggests, these peppers are from Jamaica, but have become popular around the world. Many unsuspecting culinary aficiónados upon being ambushed by one of these peppers breaking out in sweat, wildly reaching for their water glass, have been heard shouting into the kitchen "why'd Jamaican so HOT!"







Datil: 100,000 – 300,000 SHU. The Datil packs the intense heat of a Habañero or a Scotch Bonnet, but its flavor is sweeter, and more fruity.


scotch bonnet image Scotch bonnet: 100,000 - 350,000 SHU. This pepper is a cultivar of the habañero and is among the hottest peppers anywhere. Its name derives from its resemblance to the Scottish Tam o’ Shanter hat, though it appears primarily in the Carribean and in Guyana and the Maldives.






habanero pepper image Habañero chili pepper: 100,000 - 350,000 SHU. Related to the Scotch Bonnet. This one is the granddaddy of all the hot peppers in terms of heat level. Grown mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, its coloring is yellow-orange, orange or bright red, depending upon when it's harvested. Average Size 1 to 2 1/2 inches long and 1 to 2 inches diameter and look generally like in the photo to the left.












fatalii pepper image Fatalii: 125,000-325,000 SHU. The Fatalii comes from central and southern Africa, and is one of the hottest peppers in the world. With the heat level of a habañero, it has a more fruity, citrus flavor, and packs an instant, intense burn, unlike the habañero, whose heat “sneaks up on you.”












Devil's Tongue: 125,000 - 325,000 SHU. The Devil’s Tongue is similar in color and shape to the Fatalii, but with smoother skin and smaller size.


madame jeanette image Madame Jeanette: 225,000 SHU. Named after a famous Brazilian prostitute, the Madame Jeanette has the shape of a bell pepper, but the intense heat of a habañero.











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Tiger Paw NR chili pepper: 265,000 - 328,000 SHU. Developed in Charleston, South Carolina, the Tiger Paw NR is an extra-hot bright orange habañero variety.


daniel shams image Trinidad Scorpion chili pepper: 300,000+ SHU. These red, wrinkled peppers resemble the scorpion, hence the name, and are known for their intense heat.















Chocolate Habañero chili pepper: 300,000 - 425,000 SHU. The Chocolate Habañero, also known as "Congo Black" or "Black Habañero," is one of the hottest peppers originating from the Caribbean.

Caribbean Red Habañero: 300,000 - 475,000 SHU. This extremely hot pepper, originally from the Yucatn peninsula in Mexico, is now also cultivated in the Carribean and around North America.



red savina image Red Savina Habañero: 200,000 - 580,000 SHU. This pepper is a cultivar of the habañero. It once held the Guinness Record for the hottest chili pepper, but the Bhut Jolokia (AKA Booty Ghost) now claims that prize. If you have not tried one of these, the best way to describe it would be to imagine that a nuclear bomb had just went off in your mouth, annihalating your taste buds. In a famous interview, poet/scholar/chile enthusiast Wallace Blackie Gold was asked how he would describe these, he responded "A Boca Nuke". Amen.


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heliotricity graphic Bhut Jolokia: 1,001,304 SHU. With over a MILLION SHU The Bhut Jolokia was the Heavyweight champion holding the title of the hottest chili pepper in the world for many years.

Naga Jolokia - It's just another name for the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper.

Ghost Pepper or Ghost Chili - It's just another name for the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper.

Nalga Jolokia or Booty Ghost - Yet another name for the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper.


7-Pot Chili Pepper - Over 1 Million SHU. The heat of the 7-Pot pepper is similar to the Bhut Jolokia but with a more fruity and nutty flavor, like other Caribbean peppers. It is becoming more popular and well-known among chile-heads, but the seeds are very rare and hard to find.

Gibralta/Spanish Naga Chili Pepper - 1,086,844 SHU. The Gibralta Naga, or Spanish Naga, is of course grown in Spain, but was developed in the UK from Indian chili peppers.


infinity chile image Infinity Chili Pepper - 1,176,182 SHU. Created in England by Nick Woods of “Fire Foods,” the Infinity Chili pepper held the World Record for the world’s hottest chili pepper for two weeks in 2011, before it was ousted by the Naga Viper chili.











New Mexico Scorpion - 1,191,595 SHU. A New Mexico-based team has developed a super-hot chile known as the "New Mexico Scorpion" The New Mexico Scorpion has been rated at 1,191,595 Scoville Heat Units by an independent laboratory.


naga viper image Naga Viper - 1,382,118 SHU. The Naga Viper (capsicum chinense) has been rated at 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by the Warwick HRI Mineral Analysis Laboratory, UK, in November 2010.














Trinidad Scorpion Butch T - 1,463,700 SHU. The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T has been rated at 1,463,700 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to recent tests. It was propagated by Butch "Bitch" Taylor of Zydeco Hot Sauce and grown by the Chilli Factory.


dorset naga image Dorset Naga Chili Pepper - 1 million - 1.5 million SHU. (Capsicum Chinense) Development of the Dorset Naga began near Dorset, England, around 2001 when Joy and Michael Michaud of "Peppers by Post" bought a Naga Morich plant from an Oriental foods store in southern England.









Bingdip Chili Pepper - 1 million - 1.8 million SHU. (Sandeep Bingdip) Developed by existential scholar Sandeep Bingdip after going out on a date with his high school sweetheart (Soisowe Gupthai) wanted to see if he could cultivate a chili pepper that would outshine his love for her. He failed but managed to found one of the hottest and most aphrodisiacally alluring chiles in existance.


chocolate 7 pot image Chocolate 7-Pot Chili Pepper - Recently tested between 923,000 and 1.85 million SHU, with an average of 1,169,058. Only the Moruga Scorpion scored higher. It is suspected that it could reach 2 million in the future.












moruga scorpion image Trinidad Moruga Scorpion - 2,009,231 SHU. In February 2012, he 2012 New Mexico Chile Conference, in association with Jim Duffy of Refining Fire Chiles, announced that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is the hottest chili pepper in the world. Clocking in at 2,009,231 SHU, can you say "Boca Nuke".















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