A Definitive Guide to Hot Peppers

Hot peppers are native to the Americas and come in thousands of varieties, many unique flavors, and all shapes and sizes. Heirloom peppers are usually more flavorful than the modern-type peppers, and most give huge yields. They are one of the easiest crops to grow and are pretty resilient to pests.

Pasilla Bajio is mild, sweet, and hot with dark green fruit that turns brown as it ripens. This pepper is used in Mexican “mole” sauces and is very tasty.

Serrano Tampequino is a large plant that bears club-shaped fruit, is very hot and pungent, and has a distinctive flavor.

Thai Red Chilli is a hot heirloom from Thailand and used in almost every dish in old Siam. Small pointed fruit are easy to dry and are bright red in color. Thais love the pungent heat. These plants are loaded with fruit and are purely Thai.

The famous Tabasco Pepper was introduced in Louisiana in 1848 and became the main ingredient in Tabasco Pepper Sauce. Tobascos are very hot and have delicious flavor. The plants grow up to 4″ tall and are covered with small, thin peppers. To grow your own, these plants need a warm summer or a pot.

The White Habenero is a small, bushy plant that yields loads of creamy-white, top-shaped fruit. White Habeneros are a favorite Caribeean variety and known for their smoky taste and extreme heat. They are also ornamental and unique.

Korean Dark Greens are heirlooms which grown 2″ tall and have dark green foliage. These produce 3″-4″ slender dark green to red peppers. If you are looking for a spicy, hot pepper, this is great for Kim Chee and other Korean dishes.

Romania Hot peppers delicious with a mild to medium heat that is just perfect. A great heirloom from Romania, these are great for sautes, salads, salsas, pickling, and much more.

The Cayenne Long Thin pepper is slender with long peppers turning bright red and very hot. These plants are vigorous and very productive. Popular for drying and using as a spice, and for medicinal use as well, this is a renaissance pepper.

Purple Jalapenos have deep purple fruit that turns red upon maturity. These have full jalapeno flavor and heat and are great for salsa and other Mexican foods.

Thai Yellow Chillis are the golden-yellow version of the Thai pepper and are great in many South Asian recipes.

Ancho San Luis are a medium-heat pepper with dark green fruit that turns deep red upon maturity. This pepper is great in Mexican dishes, fresh or dried, and is one of the most popular chilis in Mexico.

The Sante Fe Grande are a glowing gold in color and quite warm. These peppers make pretty pickles and salsa. This is a great variety choice for home and market gardens and was introduced in 1965.

Chinese Five Color peppers turn a rainbow of vibrant colors, from purple, cream, yellow, orange to red as they ripen. To liven up your salsa, pick up a few of these!

These peppers are beautiful, delicious and have medicinal benefits as well. Have a look for a few varieties yourself at your local Farmer’s Market. You won’t be disappointed.

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