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Old 10-07-2012, 03:40 AM   #1
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Holy Jalapeño

I was making some fresh salsa two nights ago, using fresh habeneros, Seranos, Aneheim, cayenne, fresh garlic, chopped onion, and jalepenos. I bought a half bushel of really great tasting tomatoes for canning, and wanted to use some for salsa.

So I had blanched, skinned, and diced about ten tomatoes and had them simmering away, with a hint of salt. I started chopping and adding the peppers, coarsely chopping and tasting a bit of them to make sure they had the flavor I wanted. The sauce was tasting just the way I wanted it, you know, with that perfect balance of tart tomato combined with intense pepper flavor. The heat profile was just right as well. Then, just to add depth, I threw in some chopped green bell pepper, purchase at the same outdoor market that had the yummy tomatoes..

Well, that just messed everything up. The green pepper flavor was too strong. So, I diced and added more fresh tomato, more Anaheim, a couple more cayenne peppers, and had about 5 more jalapenos that I could add. My mouth, at this point seemed immune to the heat, or so i thought. Now remember, I had been tasting everything from mild bell pepper, to habenero peppers, and with no heat issues. So I cut a small round from a jalapeno and popped it into my mouth. I chewed it up and found that I was on fire! And it was from a jalapeno, you know, the pepper that is supposed to be one of the less hot of the hot peppers. It wasn't just hot, it was downright painful. I chugged about three glasses of ice-cold milk and it didn't touch the pain. I might as well have been drinking Tabasco sauce. I just had to tough it out. About 5 minutes later, my lips, teeth, hard and soft pallet, and tongue felt merely warm. Never have I eaten so hot a jalapeno as that one. It gave me new respect for the little buggers.

After it all, my salsa is made, canned, and tastes great.

Odd thing, I also had bell peppers in my garden, growing right next to the habeneros. The bell pepper was abnormally sweet, and had a good bit of bite. I'm thinking there was some cross-pollination taking place here. That bell pepper was yummy.

Moral of the story, don't expect a particular kind of pepper to have the same flavor profile that you may be used to. Depending on where it came from, and maybe, what it was grown next to, it might just have a surprise waiting for you.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 10-07-2012, 06:40 AM   #2
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LMAO Chief, really enjoyed this post! From personal experience, chillies, peppers and mint cross pollinate like crazy. If you don't want it to happen plant them far apart. Personally I enjoy discovering the new species of plants.
Not to hog your thread but I just finished making a batch of hotsauce, I love making all my own varieties. I've been on a mission for years trying to copy the flavour of tabasco with no luck so far. I've even bought an oak barrel and tried fermenting it for 2 yrs lol! This batch tastes and looks just like red tabasco it's just a bit thicker.
I didn't use the right chillies or method nor did I write down how I made it, go figure!!!! Wrote down what I could remember putting in so hopefully with some luck I'll get it right again :(
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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LMAO too Chief. I think I met it's brother not long ago too> I seldom Taste a jalapeno, just chop them and add to the dish. I usually remove most seeds, leave some in. This time there was a stray piece, so I popped it in my mouth while continuing to stir the dish. The spoon came to a direct screeching Halt !!

And yes, the Fire lasts and lasts.

I read somewhere in a gardening catalog, that Jalapenos have been bred/hybredized for milder flavor to fit Norte Americanos/ Gringos palettes. What I also read/ or think I remember is that there may be an occasional throw-back to what the peppers may have originally tasted like. Don't know if this is true or not. They haven't seemed to move up or down on the Scoville Scale.

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Old 10-07-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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From a botanical perspective, planting different types of peppers next to each other won't affect the flavor of the fruit. If you have cross pollination, the seeds from those peppers will produce crosses, but the fruit and flavor from the original plants will be unaffected.

You can buy mild jalapenos with almost no heat. I prefer the 'Mucho Nacho' strain--huge peppers (for jalapenos), great yield, and they start bearing really early. And they don't quit til frost--I just salvaged the last of mine yesterday.

That said, there is so much variability (especially in hot peppers) that you really don't know what you have til you eat it!! Lots depends on rain, and on temperature. So a fruit that forms one week in the rain might be much milder than its 'brother' formed the next week during a hot dry spell. And they both might be picked the same day.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
From a botanical perspective, planting different types of peppers next to each other won't affect the flavor of the fruit. If you have cross pollination, the seeds from those peppers will produce crosses, but the fruit and flavor from the original plants will be unaffected.

You can buy mild jalapenos with almost no heat. I prefer the 'Mucho Nacho' strain--huge peppers (for jalapenos), great yield, and they start bearing really early. And they don't quit til frost--I just salvaged the last of mine yesterday.

That said, there is so much variability (especially in hot peppers) that you really don't know what you have til you eat it!! Lots depends on rain, and on temperature. So a fruit that forms one week in the rain might be much milder than its 'brother' formed the next week during a hot dry spell. And they both might be picked the same day.
I agree, sorry Chief. Forgot to mention only the new plants will be affected.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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Someone my son works with brought some "flaming hot" j-peppers into work one day for lunch. Just a tiny little taste left fire in everyone's mouth. So, this guy said to my son,"Betcha five dollars you can't eat a whole one of these." Well, that is all it took. The son I raised to have common sense lost it all in that brief few seconds. His mouth was still burning when he got home from work, but he was five dollars richer! :)
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:18 PM   #7
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I like grilling them and eating them whole(Jalapenos). Out of the same batch you can get get crazy unedible hot all the way down to pretty mild.
I just grill extras and nibble them till I find the one I like.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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We plant our hot pepper varieties in two different gardens at the farm. The sweet peppers go in the garden at the house in the City. This way, we don't have cross-pollination happening. The worst ones were always the banana peppers...never knew it was a hot or a sweet one...solved the problem by planting them in different locations.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:55 PM   #9
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I remember somewhere reading how if the stem of the pepper is curved, it's hotter than if it's straight. Or maybe it's the opposite, all I know is that if I want heat I look to serranos or habaneros and I use the jalepeno for flavor.
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