Ever wonder how to rate the heat level (pungency) of various types of chile (chili) peppers (chillies)? Peppers are rated based on Scoville Heat Units (SHU, scovies), a method developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. The original method used human tasters to evaluate how many parts of sugar water it takes to neutralize the heat. Nowadays human tasters are spared and a process called HPLC (High Performance/Pressure Liquid Chromotography) measures the amount of capsaicinoids (capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin) in parts per million or more recently computer modelling of pepper Spectroscopy, a measure of how substances absorb light. Pure capsaicin rates at 16,000,000 on the Scoville Scale.
|Sweet Bells; Sweet Banana; Pimento||Mild|
|Mexi-Bells; Cherry; Big Jim; Hungarian Paprika|
|New Mexico; Anaheim|
|Ancho (Poblano); Pasilla; Espanola; Anaheim||Medium|
|Jalapeņo (to 10,000); Mirasol; Chipotle; Poblano|
|Yellow Wax; Serrano||Hot|
|Chile De Arbol; Serrano|
|Aji; Cayenne; Tabasco; Piquin|
|Santaka; Chiltecpin; Thai||Very Hot|
|Habanero; Scotch Bonnet|
|Red Savina & Caribbean Red Habaneros;
Indian Bhut Jolokia ("Ghost Chile")
Hottest Pepper on the Planet at
1,001,340 Scovies* - WOW!!!
The five predominant species of chile peppers are:
- Capsicum annuum: including most of the common varieties like the Jalapeņo, Cayenne, Serrano, Thai Hot, Poblano and Bell peppers.
- Capsicum baccatum: including the berry-like South American chile pepper, Aji.
- Capsicum chinense: including the Habanero, Red Savina Habanero and Scotch Bonnet (Bahama Mama, Jamaican Hot), Naga Jolokia (Bhut Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Naga Morich [part chinense and part frutescens]).
- Capsicum frutescens: including the bushy pepper plants, Tabasco, Naga Jolokia (Bhut Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Naga Morich [part chinense and part frutescens]).
- Capsicum pubescens: including the South American Rocoto.
Several photos of our homegrown Jalapeņos and Habaneros.