Depending on how brave someone is, most people prefer to have a general idea of how spicy a pepper (or any food) is before they bite into it. To avoid a nasty surprise, or to choose peppers to test your mettle, you can check out the Scoville Chart before tasting hot peppers.
Named after its creator, the pharmacist Wilbur Scoville, the chart ranks the heat of peppers based on the concentration of capsaicin found in a pepper. Capsaicin is the active ingredient that makes peppers spicy. On the chart, the heat of a pepper is measured in Scoville heat units, with the chart ranging from zero to 16 million. Now that’s hot!
On the low end of the Scoville scale are your garden-variety bell peppers that add color to a salad, but not much spice. From there, the scale goes to such common varieties as banana peppers and paprika, both of which are regularly used in household cooking.
In the middle of the scale are peppers that some people can’t handle and won’t enjoy eating, such as habaneros and serranos. At the top of the scale, even the names of the peppers are intimidating – the Komodo dragon pepper, for one. Then there’s the ghost pepper and the Trinidad morugan scorpion pepper. You read that right – scorpions and dragons and ghosts. Sometimes a name says it all.
So, when you’re ready to go out on a limb and try a new hot sauce or even just a new pepper variety, check the Scoville scale first. That is unless you want to be surprised.
At Mild to Wild Pepper and Herb Company, we offer a full range of products from sauces for private labeling and retail sales, to bulk chile peppers for the largest of industrial accounts and everything in between! With an extensive selection of hot sauces and barbecue sauces, you are sure to find something that fits your tastes. To place your order today, visit our website and read about all the ingredients that go into our specialty sauces.