Habanero Chillies

Heat; 8/10

100.000 to 350.000 on the Scoville scale

The habanero (Capsicum chinense) is a hot variety of chilli pepper.

Unripe habaneros are green, and they colour as they mature.

The most common colour variants are orange and red, but the fruit may also be white, brown, yellow, green, or purple.

Typically, a ripe habanero is 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) long.

Habanero chillies are very hot, its heat, flavor and floral aroma make it a popular ingredient in hot sauces and other spicy foods.

The habanero chilli comes from the Amazon, from which it was spread, reaching Mexico.

A specimen of a domesticated habanero plant, dated at 8,500 years old, was found at an archaeological site in Peru.

An intact fruit of a small domesticated habanero, found in pre-ceramic levels in Guitarrero Cave in the Peruvian highlands, was dated to 6500 BC.

The habanero chilli was disseminated by Spanish colonists to other areas of the world, to the point that 18th-century taxonomists mistook China for its place of origin and called it Capsicum chinense ("the Chinese pepper").

Today, the largest producer is the Yucatán Peninsula, in Mexico.

Habaneros are an integral part of Yucatecan food, accompanying most dishes, either in natural form or purée or salsa.

Other modern producers include Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and parts of the United States, including Texas, Idaho, and California.

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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