Scoville Units

Growing up in the northeast in Medieval times we had no access to tacos, salsa or chilis. As I researched food and expanded horizons I learned about Scoville Units. That is the measure of heat in a chili pepper.

Yes, food is an art and a science. My husband thinks cooking is flowery fake science but I beg to disagree. Our favorite jalapeno is between 3,000 to 5,000 Scoville units. Serranos are higher. Habaneros are around 300,000 units. I’ve no idea where ghost peppers come in but do not wish to try one.

Years ago there was a restaurant in NYC that had a “three alarm chili” and the owner would stand behind a diner eating it with yogurt and a spoon. Few could eat the stuff. If you can’t breathe or turn red eat yogurt, drink milk or have a beer.

Habaneros are great. I used to go to a restaurant that had a dish with a habanero/peanut sauce that I never re-created. They went out of business, too bad.

Out west, they have roasters outside, open flames that char the greatly admired Hatch Chili. They have a very short season and I found a batch and charred them on the stove, steamed them, cooled them and placed them safely in the freezer. My eyes were watering when the steam came out of the bag then I peeled and seeded them. Chilis are a wonderful addition to certain dishes. Not veal stew or dessert.

I checked it out and Hatch have 1,000 – 9,000 SU’s. Mine are nearer 9. If you’ve a cold this will clear you out. Wait ’til next year and find them by googling Hatch NM. They will sell you canned but get fresh and do it yourself. It’s worth a bit of time and effort. Cheers! Gas stove or broiler! Dee

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One response to “Scoville Units

  1. I only make Texas chili. 4# of beef I grind myself, coarse Texas grind and no beans. Special spice mix, let it cook. No beans. I mean it. This comes from First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson from Pedernales in 1962 where she hosted a dinner for 5,000 including JFK. No beans. Serve it with fixin’s (lime, sour cream, cheese) and some homemade cornbread and you’ve got a feast.

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