Texas Hot Peppers: A Taste to be Reckoned With

What kind of Pepper is the hottest?

What is the difference between jalapeño, Serrano, and habañero peppers?

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Measuring the Fire

Pepper heat, measured in Scoville Heat Units, ranges from the mild bell and paprika types, at 0 heat units, to the standard type of jalapeño, at about 3,000-5,000 units, to the infernal habañero – one of the world's hottest peppers at 200,000-300,000 units.


Interestingly, you can develop a tolerance to the heat from garden peppers. Folks that eat them regularly find that they are able to take on progressively hotter peppers. Padre Ignaz Pfefercorn, an 18th century missionary, described his introduction to peppers as “hell fire in my mouth.” He went on to say, “After the first mouthful the tears started to come. I could not say a word. However, one becomes accustomed to it after frequent bold victories, so that with time the dish becomes tolerable and finally very agreeable.”


Pepper flavors can be complex and range from the almost fruity sweetness of some red-ripe bell types to the smoky and earthy tones of some dried types. Chipotles, smoke-dried jalapeños, are another tasty favorite.


Jalapenos, Serrano, Habanero Peppers are the best all-around peppers.  Jalapenos have an all-around good fruit flavor, Serrano is the tobacco type pepper, and Habanero peppers, well they are just hot. 

Jalapenos would be classified as medium-hot

Serranos would be classified as hot.

And Habaneros would be classified as surface of the sun.