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Frequently Asked Questions about Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno Madness gets tons of questions about jalapeno peppers in general, so I've compiled a list of the most common of them for your reference. If you can't find the answer here, please drop me an email and I'll see if I can dig up the answer for you. Best of luck.

Question #1

I have a large harvest of jalapeno peppers this year.
What can I do to preserve them?

Click Here to Visit the Chile Pepper Preservation page to learn how to preserve your jalapeno peppers

Includes information on drying, freezing, and pickling chile peppers.

Question #2

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

Answer: Here's how you beat the jalapeno heat...

How do you stop the burning after eating jalapeno peppers?

Because of the innate hotness of all chile 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.

Jalapeno Skin Burn

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.

Question #3

Where can I find some jalapeno seeds, hot sauces,
seasonings, etc.

Answer: Click Here for my list of jalapeno and other chile pepper resources.

Question #4

What exactly IS a Jalapeno Pepper?

The jalapeño pepper is a small to medium sized chili pepper. They grow on average to 2-4 inches and are green when ripe, but do turn red the longer you keep them on the vine. The more common variety is green, although red jalapenos are both tasty and a bit sweeter. Pronunciations and definitions are listed below. Jalapenos are named after the city of Xalapa, Veracruz. Other names for Jalapeno are Cuaresmenos, Huachinangos, and Chiles Gordos.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalapeno for further information.

DEFINITIONS

Jalapeño (hah-luh-peyn-yoh; Sp. hah-lah-pe-nyaw)

  • A hot green or orange-red pepper, the fruit of a variety of Capsicum annuum, used esp. in Mexican cooking.

[Origin: 1935–40; < MexSp (chile) jalapeño (chile of) Jalapa]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

ja·la·pe·ño

ja·la·pe·ño       (hä'lə-pān'yō)
n.   pl. ja·la·pe·ños

  1. A cultivar of the tropical pepper Capsicum annuum having a very pungent green or red fruit.
  2. The fruit of this plant.

[American Spanish (chile) jalapeño, (chile of) Jalapa, after Jalapa.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Jalapeño - Noun

  1. plant bearing very hot and finely tapering long peppers; usually red [syn: cayenne] 
  2. hot green or red pepper of southwestern United States and Mexico

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/jalapeno

Question #5

Why Do Jalapeno Pepper Heat Levels Vary from
Pepper to Pepper? What is a Scoville unit?

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.

Also, how can I tell if my jalapeno is hot?

Question #6

What is the best way to properly wash a jalapeno pepper?

 

Any other questions? Drop me an email and I'll see if I can help.

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