Cayenne pepper vs jalapeno: What’s the main difference between these hot chili pepper types? Are these two peppers good to substitute with one another? Let’s discuss the details here.
Cayenne pepper vs jalapeno. What's the difference? These two peppers belong to the same family. But these are highly differ in their intensity of heat and with their unique flavors.
Let's see them in detail and also the best possible ways for substituting them.
Cayenne pepper versus jalapeño a detailed report.
The similarities: cayenne pepper vs jalapeno
Both jalapeño and Cayenne peppers are moderately hot chili peppers that belong to the ‘Capsicum annuum’ family. Furthermore these have rich flavors and are used across the globe to make the food spicy and tasty.
The encyclopedia says cayenne pepper was originally grown in Central and South America during pre Columbian era. Native American used this as medicine for stomach disorders about 7000 years ago.
Jalapenos originated from the lands of Mexico. And Wikipedia says jalapeno peppers used for thousands of years in Central, South America.
Cayenne peppers measure about 5-10 inches long and 0.5-1 inch width. While jalapeño pepper usually measures about 4 to 6 inches long and about 1 inch width at the top.
Cayenne pepper tapers at the end and has pointed tips. Jalapeño pepper seamlessly tapers and has a rounded bottom.
Cayenne pepper looks green when they are young and turns deep red as they mature. Jalapeño pepper follows the same pattern as the Cayenne- young peppers are in green color and turn red when ripen.
Cayenne tastes slightly fruity with the fiery heat and a smoky flavor. On the other hand, jalapeño has a bright, grassy flavor and an intense heat.
The palate senses the heat of the cayenne lasts longer than the heat of the jalapeno.
Body of the peppers
Jalapeno has a thick flesh when comparing with cayenne pepper. And the rib(the white membrane present inside the pepper that holds the seeds) is also thicker and prominently placed in the structure of the jalapeno.
The seeds of jalapeno is slightly larger than the cayenne.
Cayenne vs jalapeno Scoville scale
Cayenne pepper is six times hotter than the jalapeno. Cayenne peppers are measured between 30,000-50,000 SHU in Scoville scale. Jalapeno peppers measure between 3000-7000 SHU.
For your reference some of the peppers between jalapeno and cayenne on the Scoville heat scale are Serrano peppers(usually measures between 10000-23000 SHU) and Hungarian wax peppers(usually measures between 5000-1000 SHU)
Jalapeno is widely used in the United States, Mexico, and South American countries.
Cayenne is very popular in the African continent, Indian subcontinent, and many other parts of the world.
Cayenne peppers are mostly used in the powder form. And broadly called as chili powder in India and other places.
The cayenne pepper in the United States is usually a blend of dehydrated peppers including the cayenne pepper.
Jalapeno is widely used in the fresh form, mostly for making salsa, chili, hot sauces, or salad. Ripen red jalapenos are used to make the very popular Sriracha sauce in the United States. Eater says that approximately 100,000,000 pounds of jalapenos are used to make Sriracha sauce in a factory at Irwindale, California each year.
Cayenne powder is used as a spice blend to provide the heat in dishes like seafood, meat, sauces, curries in northern America.
The important United State’s tabletop condiment crushed red peppers are mostly made from the roasted Cayenne peppers.
Jalapeno infused salsa, sauce, and chili recipes are very popular around the world. People also also enjoy as grilled or roasted.
Frequently asked questions
No, to say precisely cayenne is hotter than the jalapeno. Cayenne has more concentrated capsaicin(an heat causing agent present in the white membrane and the seeds) than the jalapeno.
An easy way to determine is by looking at the stem of the pepper. If the stem is larger then the heat is lesser. And when the stem is thin and sturdy-proceed with caution-it could be a hot pepper.
Cayenne and jalapeno have a different flavor and heat level. Jalapeno adds earthy flavor and heat to a dish. Whereas cayenne provides more heat than the taste.
Hence, jalapeno is not as same as cayenne but acts as a good substitute.