Pequin peppers may look small and harmless, but delicate, they are not! Underneath their unassuming appearance lurks serious heat waiting to inform you how hot they really are.
Pequin peppers are a key ingredient in many spicy dishes.
But before you start sprinkling them over your food, you should know how hot they really are.
This article tells you everything you need to know about pequin peppers.
Learn about their origin, appearance, flavor and culinary uses. Most importantly, find out how their heat is measured and just how hot they are.
What Are Pequin Peppers?
These heat powerhouses are actually very small peppers that ripen from a light green hue, maturing to become a rich red. These tiny peppers grow to be approximately 1 cm in length, and are usually ½ cm in width.
The walls of the fruit are of medium thickness (relative to its size) and contain very few seeds. This oblong fruit is native to Mexico, where it can be found growing both wild as well as harvested commercially.
However, they can also be found growing across South America. The chili pequin has amassed a huge following for its heat-bearing properties. This super spicy pepper is the perfect addition to many much-loved recipes.
Pequin peppers may be hot, but they are slow growers. Considered to be one of the slowest-growing chili peppers, they take on average 3 months to germinate.
These peppers are considered to be fairly easy to grow and behave well in most soil varieties.Put the seeds in a small container about 8 weeks before the last frost.
Pequin Pepper: Other Names
The official name for the pequin pepper is Capsicium Annuum.
Pequin peppers sometimes go by the name of ‘chile pequin’ (also spelled ‘piquin’). The word ‘pequin’ derives from the Spanish word, ‘pequeño,’ which translates as ‘small.’
They are also referred to as ‘bird pepper,’ due to being a wild bird’s most favorite snack. Other names it goes by include ‘turkey pepper,’ and cayenne pepper.
How Hot Is The Pequin Pepper?
Do not underestimate the potency of this little fruit. If you think a jalapeno is hot, the pequin chili will blow you away. It is measured to be 10 times hotter than the average jalapeno pepper.
The heat of any given pepper is measured in Scoville Heat Units, using something called the Scoville Heat Scale. Before we get into the numbers, let’s take a quick look at the Scoville Heat Test.
How Is The Heat Of A Pepper Measured?
American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville created the Scoville Scale to measure a chili pepper’s heat or spice value. It does this by measuring the amount of capsaicin (the chemical that creates the heat) a pepper contains.
In short, the higher the units, the hotter the pepper. The hottest pepper ever, measured at an alarming 2.2 million Scoville units.
Scoville Units Of The Pequin Pepper
The pequin pepper ranges between 50,000 – 80,000 Scoville Heat Units, so make sure you have water to hand. To give you a comparison, the average jalapeno pepper rates at about 5,000 – 10,000 Scoville Units.
The riper a pequin pepper is, the hotter it gets.
Flavor And Culinary Usage
This pepper evokes a citrus, nutty, and smoky flavor.
They are relied on to transform many spicy dishes, add zazz to salads, and give a delectable punch to pickles.
Usually, the greener, milder versions are added to salads and salsas. The red peppers are often dried (or dried and smoked) and then ground to be used as a spiced powder ingredient.
This pepper is also a common addition to hot sauces. It’s combination of serious heat coupled with the taste of nuts and fruit make it a hot sauce winner.
The pequin pepper is brimming with flavor, which makes it a top choice for seasoning and spicing up most savory dishes. Furthermore, they are frequently added to many varieties of soup to give an added burst of flavor.
Where To Buy Pequin Peppers
Pequin peppers are included in popular brands such as Cholula. The Cholula Hot Sauce is a firm favorite for many Americans.
Dried Pequin Peppers
Alternatively, you can purchase a wide variety of pequin peppers on Amazon. A good choice for dried whole chili pequin peppers is Morel. This popular brand offers a selection of different sized bags to meet your requirements.
Pickled Pequin Peppers
Pickled pequin peppers are also highly sought-after.
Should you be in search of that extra spice kick to transform your meal, the San Pedro Chile Piquin Del Monte En Escabeche Hot & Spicy Pepper from Mexico is certain to be a hit. This purchase includes 2 bottles, each providing 250 g in weight.
You can find a vast range of pequin pepper products to suit every taste and requirement.
Among the selection are crushed, flakes, ground, powder, seeds, sweet and spicy pequin peppers, pickled pequin peppers, ready-made hot sauces and spreads, and much more.
The choice is seemingly endless!
Due to the exceptional flavor and worthy heat factor this pepper delivers, it is used to accompany many Tabascan recipes and considered an essential component of gourmet cuisine. Some common Tabasco cuisine that feature the pequin pepper as its signature ingredient include:
- Fried mojarra
- Shrimp cocktail
- Snook broth
It is also eaten with tortilla and even features as the signature ingredient in the popular Tabasco drink, Prozol.
So, if you are looking for something to spice up your cuisine, this little pepper is a must-buy!