Know your Jalapeño Pepper

  • The jalapeño is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum originating in Mexico. 
  • Jalapeños are a pod type of Capsicum. 

  • It is named after Xalapa (also spelled Jalapa), Veracruz, Mexico, where it was traditionally produced. 

  • The jalapeño is variously named in Mexico as huachinango and chile gordo. 

  • The jalapeño is one of the most common types of peppers in Europe and the United States. 

  • The jalapeño is a fruit, a medium- to large-sized chili pepper with a warm, burning sensation when eaten. 

  • Many people like this type of pepper because of its spicy yet not overwhelming taste.

  • These peppers, when used sparingly, add just the right amount of spicy flavour to most Mexican dishes. 

    Growing Jalapeño Peppers

  • A ripe jalapeño is 5–9 cm (2–3½ inches) long and is commonly picked and sold when still green. 

  • Once picked, individual peppers ripen to red of their own accord. 
  • The peppers can be eaten green or red.

  • The growing period is 70–80 days. 

  • When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three feet tall. 

  • Typically a plant produces twenty-five to thirty-five pods. 

  • During a growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. 

  • As the growing season ends, jalapeños start to turn red.

    Jalapeño hotness

  • Jalapeños have 2,500 - 8,000 Scoville heat units. 

  • Compared to other chilis, the jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. 

  • The heat, caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the veins (placenta) surrounding the seeds, which are called picante. 

  • Handling fresh jalapeños may cause skin irritation. Some handlers wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapeños. 

  • When preparing jalapeños, hands should not come in contact with the eyes as this leads to burning and redness.

    Farming of Jalapeños

  • 160 square km are dedicated for the cultivation in Mexico, primarily in the Papaloapan river basin in the north of the state of Veracruz and in the Delicias, Chihuahua area. 
  • Jalapeños are cultivated on smaller scales in Jalisco, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Chiapas.

  • As of 1999, 5,500 acres (22 km2) in the United States were dedicated to the cultivation of jalapeños. Most jalapeños are produced in southern New Mexico and western Texas.

    Related peppers

  • The cuaresmeño closely resembles the jalapeño. The seeds of a cuaresmeño have the heat of a jalapeño, but the flesh has a mild flavour close to a green bell pepper.

    Jalapeño Cuisine

  • A chipotle is a smoked, ripe jalapeño.
  • Jalapeño jelly can be prepared using jelling methods.
  • Jalapeño peppers are often muddled and served in mixed drinks.
  • Texas Toothpicks are jalapeños and onions shaved into straws, lightly breaded, and deep fried.
  • Jalapeño Poppers, also called Armadillo eggs, are an appetizer; jalapeños are stuffed with cheese, usually cheddar or cream cheese, breaded and deep fried.
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