Jalapenos are one of the most popular chilli peppers in the world today, and are used in sauces, pickles, salsas and even on their own. They add a delicious, tangy heat to meals, but there is more to them than people know. Here are 5 interesting facts about jalapenos.
- Did you know that jalapenos are actually bright red when they are fully ripe? These chillies are most commonly picked when they are still green, but if left to ripen they turn bright red. The red ones are a little spicier and tend to be hotter than those picked before they were ripe. After they are dried, they turn a deep purple colour.
- They are the only chilli pepper to have been to space. In 1982, they were taken on board the Columbia space shuttle by William B. Lenoir. Those jalapenos had been grown by a fellow astronaut.
- Have you ever noticed those small brown lines on jalapenos that look like scars? This is called ‘corking’ and it actually corresponds to the chilli’s heat level. The more ‘corking’ on the jalapeno, the hotter it is.
- Most people gulp down water to cool their mouths down after a jalapeno has been a bit too hot for them, but water won’t help with the burning. Milk is your best choice to help cool down your mouth. It contains the protein casein that actually breaks down the bond capsaicin form on nerve receptors. It literally takes the burn right off your nerves.
- Did you know that the Aztec civilization smoked dried chilli peppers? Instead of using them as food, they dried and smoked the peppers.
Jalapenos are often associated with Mexican food, but they are used in dishes all over the world. They can be enjoyed stuffed, crumbed and fried, pickled, in salsa and a number of other ways. At Anat we love jalapenos. They go perfectly with all our meals, adding just the right amount of heat. If you enjoy spicy food, try adding some pickled jalapenos to your next Anat meal and let us know what you think!