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Feb 18, 2004 01:16 PM

Jalapeno peppers - questions from a rookie

  • f

1. If you have a jalapeno and some of the seeds inside are dark (e.g. brown-ish as opposed to white), what does that mean? Is it spoiled or less spicy (or more spicy)? This happened to me the other night, and I wasn't sure. The jalapenos smelled fine.

2. How long can you keep jalapenos in the fridge? What about the freezer?

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  1. I've had that happen before. It means the peppers are getting a little old and possibly starting to mold inside. I just cut out any discoloured parts and use the rest.

    I rationalize that the heat from the peppers or from cooking takes care of any problems. No ill effects yet.

    1. Washed and stemmed jalapeño peppers may be kept in the freezer for 4-5 months. But I wouldn't *strongly* recommend it.

      I had ANOTHER mild fresh jalapeño today--I'd like to give a piece of my mind to the nimrod who cross-bred the peppers to create mild jalapeños that are virtually indistinguishable (visibly) from HOT jalapeños. Someone wrote here last year that the pointy jalapeños are hot and the smooth rounded ones are not, but that's not always true. Sigh. . . .

      5 Replies
      1. re: Tom Steele
        Marcia M. D'A.

        A couple of summers ago, my CSA offered lovely habaneros. Sadly, they did not continue to grow them, as I was the only one who enjoyed such a hot pepper. But I digress. I roasted and froze two batches from different weeks - the same seeds, same farm, everything was the same - except the heat of the peppers. One batch was properly blow-your-head-off hot, and the other much milder. I had to explain over and over to my husband that they were from the same source because it just didn't make sense.

        My supermarket now carries plastic packages of jalapenos labled "mild". Sigh.

        1. re: Tom Steele

          That would be Texas A&M University. They are the ones who developed a "not so hot" jalapeno variety for commercial growers. An jalapeno that even whitebread Americans can eat.


          Anyway, I'm posting a link about how jalapenos are not hot anymore.


          1. re: BarbaraF

            Well, I burp in the general direction of A&M University. Thanks for the nifty link, Barbara. It's so good to know I'm not alone in my capsaicin consternation.

            In Manhattan, IN SEASON, I can find plenty of very hot jalapeños--and several dozen other varieties, including the lethal chocolate habañero--at the Union Square Greenmarket. Tim Eckerton has been carefully cultivating hot peppers for well over a decade, and so has Ted Blew, and both have stands on Wednesdays, Fridays, and of course Saturdays. But the rest of the year, it's the (bad) luck of the draw!

            I like hot sauces, and there are always chipotles in adobo, but sometimes nothing but the hot crunch of a spicy jalapeño will do.

            1. re: Tom Steele

              Do you have room to put in a grow light and grow some pepper plants in pots? They are perennial in tropical lands. I kept one of my Thai bird chili plants alive this winter--the others died by virtue of cats eating the plants and spider mites. Anyway, I harvested the last of the chilis from it oh, in January.

              I'll put it back outside in the spring, and see what happens.

              I like Thai chilis a lot, and habeneros, jalapenos and Tsien tien chilis. Oh, and poblanos/anchos. I freeze my chilis from the summer, but it just isn't the same....

              1. re: BarbaraF

                That's a great idea, Barbara! I'm going to get a Grow-Light and buy one of Ted Blew's hot pepper plants! He can guide me to the hottest of the hot. I've never grown peppers indoors, and have had rotten luck with herbs (which are, after all, weeds!), but peppers are sturdier. Thanks for the idea!

        2. How long to Jalapenos peppers last before cooking them?