Monday, February 21, 2011

Heat in the backyard

In the past two years I've been lucky enough to travel to a couple of places where heat is an integral part of the cuisines on show, Bangkok in 2010 and Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Mumbai in 2009.

Each country and indeed each region within each country weaves this into their dishes in differing ways, but in most cases the humble chile plays a main part. So this year in a visit to the garden centre I grabbed a few plants and some planter bags and got growing.

this one's a Thai version, Thai Dragon;

Cayenne, Jalapeno and Sweet Banana peppers round out the mix. The Jalapeno are back left, not showing much in the way of chiles as yet.
Thai Dragon, top in the blue bowl, the Cayenne in the green one, and no prizes for guessing the Sweet Banana peppers in the red bowl. The Jalapeno seem to be slowest to come through and are still at the 'just started' point, but I've started harvesting the others.

Checking on the internet I've discovered the following about what I've grown;

Thai Dragon: Scoville units 75,000 - 100,000 meaning 'very' hot, each plant can produce up to 200 chiles in a single season
Cayenne: Scoville units 30,000 - 50,000 meaning hot enough
Jalapeno: Scoville units 2,500 - 5,000, so warmish if you believe the scale and the
Sweet Banana: Scoville units negligible so downright cool

and here's a run down on the Scolville units as advised online

Scoville Units

15,000,000 Pure Capsaicin
5,300,000 Police-Grade Pepper Spray
2,000,000 Common Pepper Spray
855,000 Naga Jolokia
580,000 Red Savina™ Habanero
350,000 Habanero Pepper
325,000 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
200,000 Jamaican Hot Pepper
100,000 Thai Pepper
50,000 Cayenne Pepper
30,000 Manzano Pepper
23,000 Serrano Pepper
10,000 Chipotle Pepper
8,000 Jalapeno Pepper
5,000 Tabasco™ Sauce
2,500 Rocotilla Pepper
2,000 Ancho Pepper
2,000 Poblano Pepper
1,000 Coronado Pepper
500 Pepperoncini Pepper
500 Pimento
0 Sweet Bell Pepper

So based on this it now looks like I'll have a whole heap of very hot chiles available to me to use, looks like some trawling through the internet is ahead of me, any ideas, I'll happily take them.

cheers all

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