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