Assorted Habanero Peppers in album food

In Albums:food peppers produce

Assorted habanero peppers, small, bonnet-shaped peppers, red, orange, green, and yellow

Feb 27th, 2011, by Alex Zorach

These assorted habanero peppers were for sale at the Newark, Delaware farmer's market.

The habanero is one of the hottest varieties of pepper known, and is the hottest variety widely available in the U.S. The amount of heat is highly variable, but these peppers tend to be hotter than even Thai chilis, and are among the hottest peppers used in food. These peppers are so hot that I would warn people to view them as dangerous. Their cheerful color can be deceptive. I would urge people to wear gloves if handling and working with large quantities of these peppers, and be very careful about washing all implements or surfaces they come in contact with, and avoid touching your eyes after handling these peppers.

I have sampled all four colors of habanero sold here and I have noticed some nuances in flavor, aroma, and heat. All four colors are insanely hot, but I have found the yellow ones to be the least hot, but also to have the mildest aroma. The green ones are the least sweet, and are also less aromatic. I find the orange ones to be the most highly aromatic, and have the most typical "habanero" quality. The red ones are very similar to orange but have a bit more of a rich, deep quality, and have a little less of the fresh aroma. Overall though, all four varieties are more similar to each other in aroma and flavor than they are to other peppers.

Habaneros are a pepper that most people avoid, but I find that they are actually more usable than most people realize. They are not only hot, but they are intensely aromatic, so much so that you need to use very little of them in something in order to impart the distinctive habanero aroma. And their aroma is so eminently pleasing, unlike any other pepper with the possible exception of the much milder long hot pepper, an Asian variety which has a hint of the characteristic habanero aroma. Unlike most other peppers, habaneros have a very mellow, fruity aroma, suggesting sweetness. They blend well with carrots, which blend into the aroma while balancing the hotness with some robust earthiness and sweetness.