Hot Peppers

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I've been trying to use fresh hot peppers more often in my cooking because they bring distinctive, nuanced flavor to spicy dishes that crushed red pepper and powdered hot pepper (like cayenne) just can't touch. Although I recognize the basic peppers, like the jalapeño, at the supermarket, I confess I am often confused when standing before the various mounds. What was that one again? Which one is the Anaheim? How hot is the serrano in relation to the jalapeño? The peppers are often in an unorganized heap; the pictures they supply often don't match what they actually have in stock.

I've been learning more though. One of my methods is to buy a few, then cutting off a slice and tentatively sticking it on my tongue. Pause. If I sense nothing, then move on to a nibble, or even try the seeds. So far I have not been overwhelmed. I did learn while making a stew yesterday that the Fresno chili is a joke, but the serrano is adequate and the habañero still the reigning king for what a person can procure at the average grocery store.

But here's a couple helpful websites to assist in sorting out the differences:
Has Images, Alphabetical Order

Most Common Peppers, in Ascending Order

Long List


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