Around the World with 10 Spicy & Unique Peppers
With a strong resemblance to the familiar sweet bell pepper, the Rocoto pepper tastes like an apple crossed with a tomato, with just a touch of spice. Originating in The Andes Mountains in Peru, the Rocoto thrives in cooler temperatures. It’s a versatile pepper and can be used to add distinct new flavors to your iconic menu items. We recommend roasting the peppers and stuffing them with meat and cheese or blending them into a marinade for a protein of your choice—our favorite is shrimp!
To infinity and beyond! The infinity chili is an engineered pepper originating in the UK. The name is fitting for this chili as the spicy heat lasts a long time, starting as a light burn and slowly building. A rare find, this pepper is sweet and fruity and will add ‘pop’ to all types of dishes. Generally, you would roast it and make a fiery hot sauce. But be careful—too much of this pepper and your mouth and tastebuds might be burning for a while!
Popular in Mexican cuisine, the Jalapeno is generally considered to be a good introduction to heat; we call this a ‘gateway pepper’. Besides the spice, this versatile pepper brings notes of brightness, grassiness and bitterness. It can be enjoyed in many ways—try it pickled on a Pulled Pork Taco with Mango Salsa, or enjoy it in Tex Mex Salads. Whatever the application, this is a perfect pepper to add a little heat without overpowering the flavor of your dish.
Originating in the Caribbean, the Chocolate Habanero is a cultivated pepper that has both a unique name and color. This brown pepper has flavors of earthiness, smokiness, and a unique fruity sweetness. Although it shares the familiar name ‘habanero’, it carries twice the heat. Try this pepper in a Caribbean jerk marinade or take a risk and spice up some White Chocolate Habanero Ice Cream. As a pepper that pairs well in both sweet and savory applications, the list of possibilities are endless.
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With origins in Northeast India and Bangladesh, the Naga Morich is closely related to the infamous ghost pepper. This pepper is spicy but be careful, the heat starts off slow and grows! With a vibrant fruity and floral flavor, this pepper is ideal for hot sauces or if you’re feeling adventurous, the next time you make brownies, sprinkle a little into the batter and wait for the explosion of flavor.
Goat’s Horn Chili
Known to the locals of Chile as “Cacho de Cabra”, this spicy pepper’s shape references its horn-like appearance. The Mapuche people have cultivated and grown this pepper for centuries. It is commonly used to make a traditional condiment Merkn—with a great smoky flavor and mild heat. Merkn is a delicious addition to a porchetta sandwich or use the Cacho de Cabra to add a fresh and mildly spicy flavor to your next lamb curry.
Italian cuisine is no stranger to spicy peppers. Locally known as the Calabrian Chili, this small pepper has a flavor profile that is predominately spicy but also salty, smoky and fruity. Lovers of Italian food have most likely tried this red-hot pepper dried, pickled, or stuffed and submerged in olive oil. As a chili paste, “Bomba” is a spicy addition to your favourite pasta dish or as a flavor boost to popcorn for movie night.
The Thai have a saying “Mai phet, mai arroy” – “If it isn’t spicy, it isn’t tasty!” They might be right! A Thai Chili varies in color from green, orange, and red and carries a fruity but spicy flavor. It is traditionally used in Thai dishes like Pad Thai or Laab. It can also be added to tasty sauces like a Thai sweet chili lime sauce for coconut shrimp or a Thai Chili garlic soy sauce for a Thai spring roll.
The Pequin Pepper originates in the Mexican state of Tabasco (different from the sauce that bears the same name) where it is widely used in salsas. This tiny pepper packs a punch with not only heat but with a citrusy, nutty flavor. It is commonly used in salsas, pickling, soups, and vinegars. Include a fresh pequin to add just the right amount of spice to your pot of chili or use the dried smoked pepper in a marinade for your next Taco Tuesday.
Also know as “bonney peppers” or “the Caribbean red pepper”, Scotch bonnet is named after its resemblance to the tam o’shanter hat. Found largely in West Africa but used heavily in Caribbean Islands and dishes, this pepper pairs well with many foods due to its tropical, sweet flavor. Many people will see this pepper used in jerk marinades for chicken and pork, but it is as equally delicious in a Peach Pepper Jam paired with brie cheese, or a scotch bonnet mango salsa which is a refreshing summery topping for fish.
From the Mediterranean to Thailand, West Africa to India, peppers make an appearance in almost every global cuisine. Let us show you how you can add just the right amount of heat to your dishes with our custom flavor solutions from around the world.
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