Habanero is one of the popular chili peppers among top chefs and in the kitchen of spicy food lovers. Also, it ranked as the hottest chili pepper in the world in the year of 1999 by the Guinness book of world records.
Above all, the leading brands highly depend on this hot chili pepper to make the incredibly tasting salsa, hot sauces or the hot flavor snacks like chips.
To put it technically, habanero Scoville scale units range between 100,000 SHU to 350,000 SHU. These are available in multiple varieties and multiple colors.
Let's look into more about how hot these are, when they are available, how they taste, and much more in this article.
These chili peppers belong to the C.Chinense family. And been used for culinary purposes for more than 7000 years.
The matured habanero pepper looks round or oblong in shape. And are about 1 to 2.5 inches long and have a width of 1-1.5 inch at the shoulder that ends with a pointed tip.
It has a thin flesh. And seeds and the white membrane at the center has a concentrated heat.
More about Habanero
Like any other vegetable, this unripe pepper also looks green in color. As they get mature its color changes from green to yellow, orange, and once they completely ripen they finally turn to deep orangish or vibrant red in color.
The changes of colors depict the different phases of the habanero chili peppers lifecycle.
Out of all its different phases of growth, orangish habanero(that is neither too ripe or too unripe) has the right combination of fiery heat and the fruity flavor. And this property makes them stand out from all others.
In this phase, apart from the taste and flavor, the habanero peppers have an appealing, bright, glossy skin. Make them highly sought by the consumer market including grocery stores and the farmer’s market.
Cultivars of this chili pepper does keep discovering and introducing new verities to the consumer market.
Is habanero the hottest pepper?
In the year 1999, this chili pepper is recorded as the world’s hottest pepper, by the 'Guinness book world records'. In later years, the top positions were occupied by the other newly developed hot chili peppers like dragon’s breath or Carolina reaper.
Though it may have lost its top hottest position, its fiery heat remains the same. And still it is considered one of the extra hot chili pepper varieties.
Scoville scale units of habanero pepper
Would you believe that the peppers from the same plant vary in their shape and the heat? The size, shape, and the heat varies to a large extent depending on many factors like, the climate, weather, the soil condition, the sunlight, and the watering method.
So, it would be a good practice to taste test a batch of this chili pepper before incorporating it into a recipe.
What does this taste like?
The unripe green habanero tastes slightly grassier. And has mild and subtle peppery flavors with a scorching heat. Whereas the orange colored one has a fruity flavor (similar to pineapple’s fruity flavors), and has a fiery heat that is only realized after a couple of seconds when tasted.
The fully ripened red habanero has a subtle fruity flavor and an intense heat.
Where can I get habanero?
Because these peppers started gaining popularity in the recent decades, these are available in American specialty stores and in the farmers market whenever they are in season.
Furthermore, these pepper plants are easy to grow and very convenient for the backyard gardeners. Very cost effective method that bundles along with personal satisfaction.
Is habanero hotter than jalapeno?
Of course, these are hotter than the jalapeno.
The scorching heat of habanero is incomparable with jalapeno peppers. These are considered as extra-hot chili pepper, and jalapeno belong to the mild-moderate hot pepper variety.
To put it simply, the Scoville heat units of habanero range between 100,000-350,000 SHU whereas the Scoville scale units of jalapeno range between 2500-8000 SHU.
The close substitute for habanero
Every pepper variety is unique with their own taste and the heat. Likewise, this pepper is known for its exceptional fruity flavor and smoking heat.
Scotch bonnet peppers are the close substitutes that slightly match up with the flavor and the taste.