Peppers/Chile Peppers

Chili pepper beer is a popular oddity offshoot of the craft beer movement. How hot, flavorful and aromatic a chili beer ends up depends on the amount and variety of chilies a brewer uses, as well as the point at which the brewer adds the pepper to the beer. Both of these factors can vary greatly. Brewers use a wide range of chili peppers, from the sweet and mild.
Also Known As New Mexican Chile; Hatch Chile; California Green Chile; Chile Verde; Chinayo Chile; Magdalena
Spice Rating 500 to 1,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Earthy note, vegetal over-tone, red Anaheim has a sweet note
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin New Mexico, and the U.S.

Anaheim chile peppers, also known as the California chili or Magdalena is a perennial chile pepper grown primarily as an annual that’s just a bit hotter than a bell pepper. When reaching full maturity, the Anaheim chile is known as chile Colorado. In dried form the Anaheim dried may be referred to as chili pasado or chile seco del norte. These California grown chiles are a darker, deeper red than their cousins the Hatch New Mexico Chile which has a brighter, glossier red color. An Anaheim chile pepper is technically a mild variety of the New Mexico chile pepper cultivar No. 9.

Also Known As Dried Poblano Pepper; Ancho Chili Pepper
Spice Rating 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Smoky floral notes and essence of prune
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to the Mexican State of Puebla, now mainly grown in Mexico, Central and South America

Ancho (which means wide in Spanish) are the broad, flat, heart-shaped, brownish-black wrinkled, dried version of the Poblano peppers. The Anchos are significantly hotter and more flavorful than the less ripe, green poblano. Ancho chiles ranges in flavor going from mild to zesty. They are mostly used in Mexico as they originate from the Puebla Region, and Central Valley of Mexico. In Mexico, the Ancho is marketed in three grades of quality. “Primero” is the highest grade, consisting of the thickest-fleshed and largest chiles. “Mediano” is the medium grade and “Ancho” is the basic grade.

Also Known As Cheyenne F1 Hybrid; Cheyenne Hybrid; Sakata Cheyenne; Chilli Arapaho; Arapaho F1 Hybrid; Sakata Arapaho
Spice Rating 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Pungent with great cayenne aroma
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Hybrid developed by the seed company Sakata

The Cheyenne/Arapaho chile pepper belongs to the Capsicum genus (Capsicum annuum longum group). The Cheyenne/Arapaho is a hybrid variety of Chili pepper developed and patented by the seed company Sakata. This hybrid popular dwarf chile, has all the heat of regular cayenne chiles, but the fruits can be harvested 10 days to 2 weeks earlier than the standard variety on the market. The fruits mature from light green to bright red.

Also Known As African Pepper; Aleva; Chili Pepper; Cow Horn pepper; Ginnie pepper; Goat’s Pod; Red Pepper; Tabasco Pepper
Spice Rating 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Tart, acidic, dusty tones
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to Mexico, Central, South America and East Africa

Cayenne not only offers heat but also subtly enhances other flavors, and it was popular in early American cooking for this quality. Most commonly the Red Cayenne is dried, ground and used to make the popular powdered spice, Cayenne pepper. The word “Cayenne” is based on the language of Brazil’s indigenous people the Tupi: term for “hot pepper,” quiinia. The Red Cayenne chile pepper originated in South America and is named after the river and city that share the same name. It is native to East Africa as well as South and Central America.

Also Known As Native Chile; Molido
Spice Rating 4,000 to 6,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Earthy and smoky
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to the U.S. (New Mexico), now grown in Mexico, Central and South America

Chimayó, just 25 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is celebrated for two things: its sacred dirt, and its near-sacred chile pepper Unlike mass-produced chiles grown in other parts of New Mexico, Chimayó chiles are typically grown in individual homes and gardens. The Chimayo, a New Mexican landrace chile pepper, has been grown in northern New Mexico for over 100 years and is commonly called “native chile.” The seeds are often passed down through families. Outside of New Mexico, most people who know of the Chimayo chile are only familiar with its powdered form, called Molido.

Also Known As Chile Carbide; Chile Cera; Hot Chile Peppers
Spice Rating 2,000 to 10,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Fruity and smoky
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to the U.S. (Texas, New Mexico, and California-specifically the San Joaquin Valley)

Fresno peppers are similar in shape and heat to jalapeño peppers and are grown extensively in California, Texas and New Mexico. This cold tolerant plant is a prolific bearer of upright arrow shaped peppers which mature from bright green to orange to a beautiful deep red. The peppers have a slight sweetness about them and are fantastic when used fresh for salsas. Fresno chilies were first cultivated in 1952 by Clarence Brown Hamlin, and he named the chili after Fresno, California. This pepper is used in the beer ‘Ghost Face Killah.’

Also Known As Naga Jolokia; Naga Morich; Bih Jolokia; U-morok; Ghost Chile Pepper; Red Naga Chilie
Spice Rating 800,000 to 1,500,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Hot! Very fruity with mango notes and a tropical overtone
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum chiense × Capsicum Frutescens
Origin Cultivated in the Nagaland and Assam region of northeastern India and Bangladesh

In 2007, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, they had the title of hottest peppers in the world until, and held the number one spot until 2012, when Scorpion Peppers beat them out. Their capsaicin content is so incredibly high that farmers in India are known to carefully smash these peppers open and stick them on fences to keep wild elephants away. Their Scoville rating at more than 1 million is 900 times hotter than the famous Tabasco brand hot sauce. Its flesh bears less than edible seeds (one seed can contain levels of heat that can produce sustained intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes.)

Also Known As Travieso Chile; Mischievous Chile; Mirasol
Spice Rating 3,000 to 5,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Green tea flavor with berry overtones, and a slight smokiness and warm flavor
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Primarily grown in central and northern Mexico (Durango, Aguascalientes, and San Luis Potosi states)

A Guajillo chile is produced by drying the Mirasol chile. Guajillo, along with the ancho, is one of the most frequently used dried chiles in Mexico. The Guajillo chile has a green tea flavor with berry tones and sweet heat. Its lengthened shape thins out in to a point, sometimes being slightly curved. Though known by the same name whether fresh or dried, Guajillos are almost always found in the dried form. Guajillo means “little gourd,” named for the rattling sound the seeds make in the dried pods.

Also Known As Red Savina Habañero; Black, Green, Orange, Red, Yellow, or Sweet Habañeros
Spice Rating 200,000 to 580,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Very floral & fruity, hint of apricot, and provide serious heat
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum chinense
Origin Believed to have originated in Cuba, now grown in Belize, Costa Rica, Texas, and California

Habañero chile peppers are characteristically lantern-shaped, with varieties that range in color from green, yellow, orange, red, reddish-purple and brown. Small and bulbous, this chile is in the same family as the Scotch bonnet, and is one of the hottest chiles on the Scoville scale. The Red Habañero chile pepper is botanically a member of Capsicum chinense and is the fully mature version of the Green Habañero pepper. One of the hottest varieties of commercially produced peppers the Red Habañero pepper is marketed at two different stages of maturity ranging from immature to fully mature; green and red. In addition to fresh use the Habañero pepper is one of the more popular peppers for use in the United States in production of liquid hot sauces. The name Habañero, means “from Havana” or “Havana-like.”

Also Known As New Mexico Pepper; Chile No. 9; New Mexico Green; New Mexico Chile No. 9
Spice Rating 4,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Earthy note, vegetal overtone, red has sweet note
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to the U.S. (Hatch region of New Mexico)

The Hatch chile is native to New Mexico. It was created by combining three different chile varieties to achieve the perfect chile. In 1907 Fabian Garcia began breeding chiles that would ultimately lead to the creation of “New Mexico Chile No. 9” a hybrid of Chile Negro, Chile Colorado (a red mature New Mexico Chile variety) and Chile Pasilla. “No. 9” is the original standardized variety of Hatch chiles. Today, roughly 50,000 acres of “Hatch” chiles, descendants of New Mexico Chile No. 9 are cultivated annually throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California. Much like AOC designations in Europe, though, unless it is grown in Hatch Valley, New Mexico it is only considered a New Mexico Green chile.

Also Known As Hot Wax Pepper; Hot Yellow Pepper; Paprika (Hungary); Yellow Wax Pepper; Hungarian Sweet Wax
Spice Rating 1,500 to 15,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Slightly sweet taste and are fairly mild in heat
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin First introduced to Hungary in the 1500’s by invading Turks.

The Hungarian chile pepper is a member of Capsicum annuum and a close relative of the banana pepper. There are many different varieties of Hungarian peppers ranging in heat from mild to spicy depending upon variety. The Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper was developed in Hungary and has a waxy color that resembles bees’ wax. The Wax peppers ripen from pale yellow to deep golden orange and finally cherry red. They may be harvested at any stage but the heat intensifies as the pepper matures. Peppers were first introduced to Hungary in the 1500’s by invading Turks. The first recorded Hungarian pepper was called the “Turkisch rot Pfeffer” or “Turkish red pepper” and was most likely a mature variety of the yellow Hungarian pepper we know today. Throughout Hungary “paprika” is used as a term for fresh peppers as well as for the quintessential Hungarian spice, paprika.

Also Known As Huachinango; Chile Gordo; Morita; Espinalteco; Tipico; Peludo; Cuaresmeños
Spice Rating 2,500 to 7,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Sharp green pepper flavor
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to Mexico, Central and South America, now cultivated in the U.S. (California, Texas and New Mexico)

Originating in Mexico, the Jalapeño has been in Mexican markets since the sixteenth century. Named for the city of Jalapa in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, there are four main types produced in Mexico; Morita, Espinalteco, Tipico and Peludo. In Mexico commercial cultivation comes predominantly out of northern Veracruz, Chihuahua (specifically Delicias), and the Lower Palaloapan River Valley in the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca. When dried and smoked, fully ripened jalapeños commonly named Chipotles, or moritas, moras, chipotle meco, tipico, and Colorado chile peppers. It takes 10 pounds of fresh jalapeño peppers to make one pound of dried Chipotles.

Also Known As Pippali; Pipal; Bengal Pepper; Indonesian Long Pepper; Lada Panjong; Thippili; Java Pepper; Javanese Pepper
Spice Rating
Taste/Aroma Resembles black pepper with a hotter taste with sweet and somewhat earthy, gingery undertones
Family Piperaceae (pepper family)
Botanical Name Piper longum L.
Origin Native to South East Asia, now cultivated in India, Africa, and eastern China

Originating in South East Asia, Long pepper is a close relative of the black pepper plant and currently grown and cultivated in Bali, India and Thailand. The fruit of the pepper consists of many minuscule fruits, each about the size of a poppy seed, embedded in a flower spike. Long pepper is similar in taste to regular black pepper, but has a higher heat level and has a subtle sweet, cardamom like undertone in its flavor.

Also Known As Pepper Berry; Mexican Peppertree; Christmas Berry
Spice Rating
Taste/Aroma Pleasantly fruity, with pine notes with a fruity, resinous, and sweetly aromatic taste
Family Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)
Botanical Name Schinus terebinthifolius
Origin Native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, now cultivated in almost every temperate zone

Pink peppercorn, botanically known as Schinus terebinthifolius, is not a peppercorn, rather the berry of the Brazilian Pepper Tree AKA Christmas berry tree or the Peruvian Pepper tree which is also known as the California pepper tree. The tree has been introduced in many places as an ornamental or shade tree. It is aggressively invasive and now grows in almost every temperate zone in the world. These exclusive Pink peppercorns have a delicate, fragrant, sweet, spicy flavor, with a rich rose color.

Also Known As Anise Pepper; Bunge’s Prickly Ash; Chinese Pepper; Fagara; Japan Pepper; Suterberry; Szechuan Pepper; Toothache Tree; Yellow Wood
Spice Rating
Taste/Aroma Peppery, woody, tangy, with slight citrus
Family Rutaceae (Rue family)
Botanical Name Zanthoxylum piperitum
Origin Native to China, now cultivated in China, Japan, the Himalayas, North America

Sichuan peppercorns, also spelled Szechwan and Szechuan, are actually the dried husks of the berries from the Chinese Prickly-ash tree. They are botanically classified as Zanthoxylum piperitum and are of no relation to black pepper, Peper nigrum, though their exotic spice often lends them to similar culinary applications. The berries are dried and split open, and the bitter seeds inside are discarded. The flavor of Szechuan pepper is very fragrant, lemony and pungent and it has a biting astringency on the tongue. The bark, seeds and leaves of the bush are also edible, but less pungent.

Also Known As Pepper Bark; Peppercorns; Maricha
Spice Rating
Taste/Aroma Peppery/pineyr
Family Piperaceae (pepper family)
Botanical Name Piper nigrum L.
Origin Native to southern India and Sri Lanka, Now grows in Malabar, Malacca, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, Japan and the West Indies

White pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant (botanically known as Piper nigrum) alone, with the darker-colored skin of the pepper fruit removed. This is usually accomplished by a process known as retting, where fully ripe red pepper berries are soaked in water for about a week, during which the flesh of the pepper softens and decomposes. Rubbing then removes what remains of the fruit, and the naked seed is dried.

Also Known As Ancho (dried); Green Pasillas
Spice Rating 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Earthy & smoky tone
Family Solanaceae (Night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Originated in the Puebla region of Mexico, now grown throughout Mexico

These are ancho peppers in the green state; they look like small, dark green (sometimes almost black) bell peppers at the stem end, tapering to a thin point at the blossom end. The darkest poblanos have the richest flavor. Ranging from fairly mild to hot, poblanos are usually roasted and peeled before being used. Probably Mexico’s most popular variety of chile. It has a big interior which is perfect for stuffing. Some known varieties of Poblano pepper are: Ancho 101, Ancho Magnifico, Ancho Ranchero hybrid, Ancho San Luis, Ancho San Martin hybrid and Poblano L.

Also Known As Yellow Hot Chile; Güero Chile; Blonde Chile; Caribe Chile; Caloro
Spice Rating 500 to 700 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Sweet with a touch of smoke
Family Solanaceae (night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum “Santa Fe Grande”
Origin Cultivated in the Southwestern U.S.

Introduced in 1965 by Peto Seeds in 1965, after Dr. Paul Smith at the University of California-Davis crossed the Floral Gem with the Fresno variety, a variety of New Mexican chile, and then crossed this hybrid with the variety Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot to produce the Caloro variety, which soon refined to become the Santa Fe Grande. The Santa Fe pepper, also known as Yellow hot chile pepper and the Güero chile pepper (which means blond in Spanish and probably refers to its pale yellow color), is a very prolific variety used in the Southwestern United States. The Santa Fe Grande is a cross between the Floral Gem and the Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot Pepper. The chile ripens from a pale yellow to a bright orange or fiery red, with the flavor ranging from mild to moderate, although some can be hot, but not compared to something more traditional like the jalapeno pepper.

Also Known As Mexican Green Chili, Chiles Verdes
Spice Rating 10,000 to 23,000 Scoville heat units
Taste/Aroma Gentle earthiness reminiscent of the Jalapeño, but with a bit less bitterness
Family Solanaceae (Night-shade family)
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Origin Native to the mountainous region of northern Puebla and Hidalgo, Mexico, now grown in the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Veracruz, Nayarit and Tamaulipas

The Serrano chile pepper, botanically part of Capsicum annuum is also known as chile Seco. Its name Serrano translates to mean “from the mountains” and refers to the Sierra mountain region located in the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo where the pepper originated. They are one of the hottest chile peppers available commercially in the United States today. They are also one of the most common peppers utilized in Mexican cuisine. In Mexico popular varieties are Panuco, Tampiqueno and Altamira. In the United States a popular variety known as Hidalgo was released by the Texas Agricultural Experiment station in 1985.