Whether you’re an adventurous spice fiend or a humble food lover, the wide variety of peppers offers something for everyone and allows for a flavorful addition or a burning challenge to rise against. Everyone knows about common peppers such as jalapeños or habaneros, but there’s a wider world of spices to enjoy. So, let us share some of the different peppers you need to try if you have any interest in experimenting with them.
Identified by its red color and prepared by being smoked, Morita peppers clock in 2500-8000 Scoville units—comparable to your typical jalapeño for reference—and is one of two chipotle peppers. The pepper features a natural fruity flavor and is given a nice smokey tinge by the preparation process to create a unique flavor without an overbearing heat.
Cayenne peppers are identified by their long, skinny, and curved appearance. As the pepper matures, it turns from green to red before being dried, ground, and then sold. The cayenne pepper sits at 30,000-50,000 Scoville units, and you’ve likely experienced it, to a degree, if you’ve ever made use of red pepper flakes for your pizza. However, this pepper is also a staple in kitchens as a go-to for adding a nice heat to soups, meats, and even some desserts.
Thai Chile Peppers
Thai chile peppers come in 79 varieties that are all hot and spicy at 50,000-100,000 Scoville units. As the name suggests, you’ll find this pepper a staple of Southeast Asian cuisines such as sauces, curry, and fish. This adds plenty of heat to your meal and can be easily found within grocery stores either at the fresh produce section or canned in the international foods section.
Carolina Reaper Peppers
Let us be clear. Of the different peppers you need to try, this one should be reserved for hardcore spice enthusiasts prepared to sweat and burn. At 1,400,000-2,200,000 Scoville units, the Carolina reaper is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Though it appears small and shriveled, merely handling the pepper with your bare hands can set them ablaze (no joke; you will get burned.) Don’t eat this one raw. Surprisingly, however, the Carolina reaper is rather sweet and flavorful if you can get past the nine circles of Dante’s inferno.