Habanero is one of the famous chili peppers among top chefs and in the kitchens of spicy food lovers. Also, the Guinness book of world records ranked it as the hottest chili pepper in the world in 1999.
Above all, the leading brands highly depend on this hot chili pepper to make incredibly tasting salsa, hot sauces, or 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.
In this article, let's look into how hot these are, when they are available, how they taste, and much more.
These chili peppers belong to the C.Chinense family. It has been used for culinary purposes for more than 7000 years.
The matured habanero pepper looks round or oblong. They are about 1 to 2.5 inches long and have a width of 1 to 1.5 inches at the shoulder that ends with a pointed tip.
It has a thin flesh. The seeds and the white membrane at the center have a concentrated heat.
More about Habanero
Like any other vegetable, this unripe pepper also looks green in color. As they mature, their color changes from green to yellow-orange, and once they ripen entirely, they finally turn to deep orangish or vibrant red.
The changes in colors depict the different phases of the habanero chili pepper lifecycle.
Out of all its different phases of growth, orangish habanero(neither too ripe nor too unripe) has the right combination of fiery heat and fruity flavor. And this property makes them stand out from all others.
In this phase, the habanero peppers have appealing, bright, glossy skin apart from the taste and flavor. Make them highly sought by the consumer market, including grocery stores and the farmer’s market.
Cultivars of this chili pepper keep discovering and introducing new varieties to the consumer market.
Is habanero the hottest pepper?
In 1999, this chili pepper was recorded as the world’s hottest pepper, by the 'Guinness Book of 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 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 the peppers from the same plant vary in shape and heat? The size, shape, and heat differ greatly depending on the climate, weather, soil condition, sunlight, and the watering method.
So, it would be an excellent 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. It has mild and subtle peppery flavors with a scorching heat. 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 recent decades, they are available in American specialty stores and the farmer's market whenever they are in season.
Furthermore, these pepper plants are easy to grow and convenient for backyard gardeners. It is a 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 extra-hot chili peppers, and jalapenos belong to the mild-moderate hot pepper variety.
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 in its taste and heat. Likewise, this pepper is known for its exceptional fruity flavor and smoking heat.
Scotch bonnet peppers are the close substitutes that match the flavor and taste slightly.