Hey NH! Do You Know Your Peppers?
The local gardens are just bursting with fresh peppers! Here's a helpful guide so you won't burn your tongue after a visit to The Farmer's Market.
Let's start with the mildest first and work our way up to 'OUCH'!
Sweet Pepper - MILD
The specific variety of the pepper above is a 'Shepherd' and it is very mild. Basically it's the same heat level as a Bell pepper but I think they have a much better flavor.
Stick it in a salad or grill it, you really can't mess this beauty up. They will turn red when mature but they're just as good green.
Poblano - MEDIUM
My personal favorite, this baby packs the perfect amount of punch and is best known as the pepper that gets stuffed to make chili rellenos.
If you dry it, it has a different name. Ancho! And it's almost equally terrific in that dehydrated state. I can rave about these all day.
Jalapeno - HOT!
I wish my photography could do justice as to how pretty these are. Although they may be pretty to look at, I guarantee that eating them unaccompanied and raw 'Would NOT be pretty'.
Thinly sliced on some nachos or coarsely chopped in a chili would be my best culinary suggestions for these guys. Also if you go the extra mile and pickle them, it makes them more palatable to people who do not eat fire as a hobby.
Cayenne - OUCH!
Seriously, don't even think about it. Take one VERY finely chopped in a LARGE stew or a VERY LARGE stir fry and you still might be incapacitated if you have an unlucky spoonful. Drying them is a great way to help dissipate the pain!
Also, after you prepare them, be sure to NEVER touch your eyes for 4 to 6 weeks.
What's funny is, these cayenne are only HALF way up the scale of pepper heat. Anymore capsaicin than cayenne and I think the FDA should make people register their peppers as weapons.