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What's Hot, What's Not



Scoville Heat RatingSo what's hot and what's not? How can you tell? The standard measure for chilli heat intensity is a Scoville unit (named after one Wilbur L Scoville in 1912 who used human tasters in the beginning, poor buggers). In a nutshell it's calculated by measuring how much water it takes to dilute out the heat to its last point in a sample of the chilli or sauce. So to give you a real example, a regular Jalapeno Pepper is around 4,500 Scoville units. This means that it takes 4,500 parts of water to 1 part of Jalapeno before the last tiny bit of heat can be felt.

All you really need to know is the bigger the Scoville rating, the hotter it is. Not all our products carry a Scoville rating but where there is one we state it. Don't assume that if it's not Scoville rated it's not hot though. Read the blurb and check out the heat rating we give each product as your guide.

The hottest chilli in the world is currently the Naga Jolokia Chilli, grown mainly in India, which clocks up around 1 million Scoville units - ouch!

CAUTION - DON'T RUB YOUR EYES OR PICK YOUR NOSE!

Make sure you're careful when using chillies or stuff with chillies in them. It can hurt like hell if you rub your eyes or touch your nose. The burning bit in a chilli is a compound called capsaicin. It's an oil so if you do over indulge and find your tongue on fire, the best way to counter it is with something oily or fatty like milk, yoghurt or ice cream.

THERE'S SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T KNOW...

Despite the intense, searing heat of some chillies, there's no evidence to suggest that eating chillies is bad for you or that it can cause ulcers. Chillies actually contain lots of good stuff like vitamin A and C, as well as E. They also release endorphins, giving you a natural high.

 

GREEN OR RED, FRESH OR DRIED?

Whether a chilli is green or red is simply down to how ripe it is. It goes red as it gets riper - it's nothing to do with the variety.

 

What's hotter - fresh or dry? Drying chillies does intensify their flavour and consequently can have the same effect on their heat. The general rule is don't substitute dry for fresh when following a recipe.

 

Feel the heat.

GREEN OR RED, FRESH OR DRIED?
Whether a chilli is green or red is simply down to how ripe it is. It goes red as it gets riper - it's nothing to do with the variety.

What's hotter - fresh or dry? Drying chillies does intensify their flavour and consequently can have the same effect on their heat. The general rule is don't substitute dry for fresh when following a recipe.

Feel the heat.