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Jun 16, 2008 08:38 AM

Fresh Scotch Bonnet peppers in NY-Nj area ??

I have been looking for some fresh Scotch Bonnet peppers in the New jersey / New York area. Does any one know who has them ? From Wes "Down the Shore"

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  1. I have some friends from Trinidad/Tobago who just use Habaneros, which are widely available. Technically/culinarily/botanically, I don't know if they are exactly the same, but these people seem happy using them interchangeably.

    5 Replies
    1. re: markabauman

      They're not quite the same, but they're very close. Not even all scotch bonnets are exactly the same. They're all from Capsicum Chinense genus/species:

      IME, bonnets have a bit more of a fruity flavor ... but given the heat level of these things most people won't ever notice :) Habaneros are a common drop in replacement for pretty much all of the Chinense peppers due to their easy availability in the US.

      1. re: jgg13

        Thanks; I figured there'd be someone out there who would know. Actually, one of the last time we were down in one of the islands, we obtained some fresh conch at the local fishery and some Scotch bonnets at a local market. Besides the obvious heat, I do recall noticing a fruity quality to the dish, beyond the lime.

      2. re: markabauman

        I get mine from our local East Brunswick Pathmark grocery, where they carry both scotch bonnets as well as habaneros. but it depends on the produce manager to determine if there is market for them in their location. I have also seen them in the Neptune Shoprite, as well as Wegmans and Delicious Orchards, where you will pay $5.99+/ lb. Also in Jersey City, Uncle Ram's on Newark ave some times gets a shipment from Guyana, But he's a grumpy old bastard, so he will only sell them to you if you make friends or bring rum.
        There is not only a distinct difference in heat but more importantly, in the quality of the burn and fruitiness left behind by the scotch bonnet, but I have made my mother's recipe for pepper sauce with both peppers, and find the habaneros will burn immediatly but leave very little taste behind. Good Luck Wsmoon.

        1. re: currymouth

          Thank you "Currymouth". Your comment is one of the ones that is right on the mark. That is why I want the Scotch Bonnet rather than the Habaneros..Thanks again!

          1. re: wsmoon

            You are quite welcome, Depending on the type of peppersauce your making, I have always go by these rules:
            Green peppers= Fruitness
            Yellow peppers= Heat
            Red peppers= Both
            If availible I use the ratio of 1:2:2, and never cook your peppers and never add oil. Let us know how it turns out.

      3. Go to the Bronx, Conner Avenue exit 13 off 95 and therr are so many Korean and West Indies markets that sell it. Be vry careful handlng it don't tuch the vein or seedswith your bare hands, it hurts if you don't wear gloves. What are you making with them?

        2 Replies
        1. re: nbermas

          Thank you for the info. I plan on making a scotch Bonnet pepper sauce out them :-))

          1. re: wsmoon

            Be careful of the heat from the sauce but have fun

        2. Try Hmart. They have them seasonally, I usually buy a pound and put them in the freezer.

          1. Eckerton, at the Union Square greenmarket, has them in season.

            1. the real crop at cheesequake farms seems to be the land. they seem to be strongest on growing with peppers (at least 12 types) and eggplants (at least 5 types).

              if i remember correctly, in additon to scotch bonnet, they have a pepper that is even hotter. anyway, too early, try july:

              Cheesequake Farms Rt. 9 & Jake Brown Rd., Old Bridge
              Directions: Between Rt. 34 & Rt. 516 at Jake Brown Rd.
              Phone: (732) 721-5728

              5 Replies
              1. re: piney

                You might be talking about the various "naga" chiles (dorset, jolokia, etc). They're the same species as scotch bonnets, habanero, etc but fiercly hot.

                1. re: piney

                  Piney, that's right around the corner from me. Thanks for the info. Are they pretty consistant with the supply?

                  1. re: currymouth

                    i usually don't start going there until mid-late july through early october. they usually have some sort of peppers most of the time. at work, we refer to this place as the "dirt farm", an allusion to kevin smith's "dirt mall". if the stuff that's in the refridgerated cases looks passé, check the baskets that are on the floor; they are usually fresher.

                    1. re: piney

                      Thanks again for the info a while back. I ended up going to Cheesquake Farms and they had the peppers. I was able to get 10 lbs of fresh Scotch Bonnets and I made the sauce. Thanks again :-))

                      1. re: wsmoon

                        I also purchased about 5 lbs, but was a bit disappointed with the lack of heat. They were quite fruity, and had a good depth of flavor, but just did not have that afterburn i had exspected. Never the less 1 bottle is on the way to Norway, another to Hong Kong, and still another to Manila. How did your's turn out?