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Frequently Asked Questions About Habanero Peppers

Visitors ask about chili peppers all the time. If you have a question that you don't see answered here, drop us a line and we'll do our best to answer you as quickly as possible.

Help! My chili peppers have burned my tongue! or Help! My chili peppers have burned my skin!

Answer: Here's how you beat the chili pepper heat...

How do you stop the burning after eating chili peppers?

Because of the innate hotness of all chili peppers, they can burn not only the inside of your mouth, but your skin as well. If you find that you simply can't bear the heat after eating a chile pepper, try to consume a dairy product, like milk, yogurt, or ice cream. Dairy products contain a chemical called caisen that combats the effects of chile peppers' capsicum by stripping it from its receptor site on the skin. I've also tried sugar and that seems to work in a pinch.

Burning Skin

Try rubbing alcohol first to remove the burning oil. Then, soak the skin in milk or another dairy product. Only use water or saline for your eyes, however, and please remember that the best way to combat the chile pepper heat is to use rubber gloves when handling peppers.

Also, this was suggested by a poison control center for those times you do not have a dairy product on hand: Wash the skin with warm, soapy water. Rub the skin with vegetable or olive oil and let set a minute. Rinse.

Hopefully this helps you find some relief with your burning skin.

What exactly IS a chili pepper? And is it "chili", "chilli", or "chile"?

The name of peppers can vary from region to region, hence the different spellings. Depending on where you go, it is either "chili pepper", "chilli pepper", or "chile pepper". Take your pick!

That said, the chili pepper is the fruit of the plants from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Chili peppers are considered fruit, not vegetables. Chili peppers are members of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family and are related to tomatoes, cherries and eggplant.

Chili peppers originated in South America, but are now grown around the world because they are used as spices or as medicine. Christopher Columbus reportedly sampled a chili pepper and thought it was a relative of the black pepper, dubbing it a "pepper", which is inaccurate, though the name persists today.

In South America, they were known as Aji.

Why Do Habanero Pepper Heat Levels Vary from Pepper to Pepper?

It's true. I've noticed that some jalapeno peppers are hotter than others. Some can be quite mild, while others can be downright eye watering. I prefer somewhere in the middle, but this is something that cannot be avoided.

While the jalapeno heat is contained in the seeds and veins (or placenta) of the pepper, jalapeno pepper heat levels do vary depending on many factors such as age of the pepper, how many overall seeds are within the pepper, when and where it was grown (including climate and soil conditions of that location and cultivation), not to mention weather and amounts of rainfall.

That said, a jalapeno pepper can vary in heat level from between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville units. Want to learn more about Scoville units? Click Here.

If you find that a pepper is too hot, you can always reduce the heat by removing the seeds and veins (innards), but it is difficult to make them hotter without dumping habanero powder over them, which I've done in the past. Also, the red jalapeno peppers tend to be sweeter and not quite as hot, so you can choose those. Jalapenos will turn red the longer they are on the vine and eventually fall off.

So, next time you pick your jalapeno peppers from the grocery store, or any other peppers for that matter, you can expect some heat variety.

Common Question: How Hot is a Habanero Pepper?

Learn More about the Habanero Pepper

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Habanero Madness - The Cookbook. 100+ Habanero Pepper Recipes

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100+ Habanero Pepper Recipes

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250+ Chili Pepper Recipes - PRINT or EBOOK

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Welcome/Home | Habanero Pepper Recipes | Growing Habanero Peppers | Preserving Habaneros | About the Habanero | How Hot is a Habanero? | Habanero Cooking Tips | Habanero Pepper FAQ | Our Cookbooks | Contact Us | The Madness Web Sites

Habanero Madness is dedicated to habanero pepper recipes, growing and harvesting habanero peppers and the habanero pepper lifestyle.

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Jalapeno Madness

A special tribute to the greatest chili pepper on earth, the jalapeno pepper. The purpose of Jalapeno Madness is to inspire creative cooking and fun with jalapeno peppers. We have tons of jalapeno recipes including jalapeno poppers, how to preserve jalapenos, plus gardening and tips for jalapenos.

Habanero Madness

Dedicated to habanero peppers - including habanero pepper recipes, cooking with habaneros, growing and harvesting habaneros, and a general habanero pepper lifestyle.