I honestly thought that I would hate the Habanero pepper and that I would want to die immediately after eating it. Rated 100,000 – 350,000 on the scoville scale, I was frightened. Afterall, I could barely stand to eat the Chinese 5 Color hot pepper that I grew and it was rated far less on the scoville scale than the Habanero. But at the same time, I felt like I needed to at least try it. And I’m so glad that I did. I loved it.
The words seem surreal as I type them – I love the Habanero pepper and it was absolutely my favorite hot pepper this year. Let me explain a bit – the flavor of the habanero is truly unlike any other hot pepper that I grew this year. They have a very sweet flavor with a bit of smokiness and although the heat is fairly intense, it subsides quickly and leaves you feeling very satisfied. Instead of reaching for a glass of milk or shoving popsicles into my mouth, I didn’t need anything to relieve myself from the heat. Now maybe either I’ve burned all of the taste buds off of my tongue or my peppers weren’t actually that hot – I don’t know. I felt like I should have been clutching my stomach in the fetal position while crying. Also, I should mention that I removed all of the seeds from my peppers before eating them which would definitely lessen some of the heat in the peppers. But all in all, they were very hot and pleasantly delicious.
I should mention some of the things I wasn’t thrilled about. This pepper took the longest amount of time to grow and produce ripe peppers. My seeds were started last February in the house and were moved out to the greenhouse in May. The plant didn’t produce flowers until about a month later than all the other peppers and then it seemed to take forever for any peppers to appear. Once they did appear, they grew very slowly and in fact, I ended up having to move the entire potted plant back in to the house a few weeks ago as the peppers were just starting to ripen and the nights were below freezing temperatures – the last thing I wanted to do was to lose my precious peppers to frost. Also, the one plant only produced two peppers – one a decent size and the other quite small. Despite this, I will try growing this pepper again because the flavor was so amazing. I’ve also purchased some Mustard Habanero seeds to try out next year and I have my eye on the Chocolate Habanero pepper as well (who am I kidding, I will order those seeds in a couple of months).
And now for the best part – fish tacos with fresh mango habanero salsa. So good. I’d never made fish tacos before, even though pork tacos are a weekly staple at our house. This recipe was killer – you can find the fish tacos recipe here (I omitted the slaw in place of the salsa) and the salsa recipe here. I will absolutely be making this recipe again, and it was a perfect use for the peppers.
That brings my pepper posts to an end for this growing season. I’m so excited that I finally had some good success with growing peppers (thank you greenhouse!) and I can’t wait until the next season. I’ve already started a few peppers in the house (really, really hot ones!) and I have a list of other peppers I’d like to try – so basically my entire greenhouse will be just peppers next year – I can’t wait!
Habanero hot pepper seeds purchased from Botanical Interests.