Habanero

Availability: All year.

Source: Caribbean, Mexico and the United States.

Handling Tips: 50°F. Keep cool and dry.

General Information: The habanero chile (Capsicum chinense Jacquin) (originally Spanish "Javanero") is one of the most intensely spicy chili peppers of the Capsicum genus. Unripe habaneros are green, but the color at maturity varies. Like all Capsicum, the habanero pepper originated in Meso- or South America, most likely the Amazon basin or nearby coastal regions. Upon its "discovery" by Europeans, it was rapidly disseminated around the world, to the point that 18th-century taxonomists mistook China for its place of origin and called it "capsicum chinense" the Chinese pepper.

Today, the crop is most widely cultivated in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Other modern producers include Belize, Costa Rica, and some U.S. states including Texas, Idaho, and California.

Most habaneros will rate between 100,000 and 300,000 Scoville units, which is ten to fifty times hotter than a jalapeno. Use extensively in condiment sauces, relish, chutney and marinades. Flavor is generally acidic, very hot and may be sweet

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