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May 24, 2009 11:20 AM

Scotch Bonnet Chile Source

Does anyone know where I can find these in the Boston area?

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  1. Not scotch bonnets per se, but Whole Foods (at least the ones at Symphony and Riverside) have habanero chile peppers.

    Scotch bonnets are just cultivars of the habanero--both are the same species, Capsicum Chinense Jacquin. I'm not sure how the cultivars differ, but they seem indistinguishable to me, one being the variety from the caribbean and the other from central & south America.

    They both share the same two defining characteristics--high Scoville rating and a wonderful citrusy note--that would make them interchangeable in recipes.

    Failing that, you might be able to find scotch bonnets at one of the Jamaican grocery stores in JP, but I wouldn't be surprised if anything labeled "scotch bonnet" was actually a habanero, or vice versa.

    I recently infused tequila blanco with habaneros, to wonderful result:

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: rlove


      Just to clarify ...

      The habanero is not the same pepper as the Scotch Bonnet They are of the same species but the Scotch Bonnet is not a Cultivar. The Scotch Bonnet has a different shape - one which closely resembles a Scot's bonnet - so it is very easy to differentiate the two. The Scotch Bonnet grows mainly in the Caribbean islands while the habanero grows mainly in Latin and North American. The flavor of the two, however, is very similar as is their heat level.

      I grow them all the time and cooking with them there is a definite difference in flavor. Most whole foods will order them as they order them for me when I don't have any on hand or frozen. They freeze very well too.

      1. re: kchurchill5

        Arax often has em, by the shape I'd say habanero, to me scoth bonnets are a bit more squished lookin.

    2. I see them pretty rtegularly at Market Basket and Stop and Shop. Pretty sure Russo's has them most of the time.

      15 Replies
      1. re: AHan

        Yes, Russo's also has them regularly (habaneros - not sure about scotch bonnets). They are also easy to grow, though I once made the terrible mistake of pureeing a bunch of them in the blender - I essentially maced my entire household, even the cats had tears coming out of their eyes from the capsaicin whipped into the air by the blender.

        1. re: nsenada

          Never mind rendering your blender permanently unusable :(

          1. re: StriperGuy

            I have pureed habaneros in the blender to make hot sauce (Inner Beauty, yum), and I had no problems with fumes or cleaning.

            1. re: DanW

              I do this also in a blender or food processer and never had any issue with fumes or cleaning.

              1. re: Infomaniac

                Glad to hear it. Would have thought it would be hard to get the taste out of the blender.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  If the taste is still there it's not noticable to me, although my taste buds are all a good way.

              2. re: DanW

                Part of the problem may have been that I put a LOT off peppers in, and pureed them whole without cutting first. I think the air inside the peppers might have contributed to the problem.

                1. re: nsenada

                  The first batch I made I cut them up and seeded them. The second batch I just trimmed off the stems and put them in whole. Neither one had problems but I think I had less than half the blender jar filled with them and I included other ingredients (mustard, molasses, etc.).

                  One thing to note is that I was using a blender with a glass jar. My new blender has a plastic jar, so in a couple weeks I will be seeing if the flavor lingers on. :)

                  1. re: DanW

                    Now we all know what you were making! :-)

                2. re: DanW

                  A bit of a tangent, but since you brought up Inner Beauty sauce:

                  I've been making it using a modified version of this recipe for a few years:


                  ... but last week I discovered this:


                  Obviously quite different, especially the use of pineapple and papaya juice rather than mango flesh. So which is the "correct" recipe?

                  As an aside to my aside, I ate at ECG last week and the Inner Beauty was terrible! Way too mustardy and not very spicy. Bad batch, I hope, and not a new direction for the sauce at its source.

                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                    Hmmm, that is really interesting. I have made the version with the mango flesh a few times and felt it was never the same as the Inner Beauty you get at ECG and with many of the Hell Night dishes. This may explain why.

                    I will have to whip up a batch of this new stuff and give it a try! :)


                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                      Back when they still bottled it there were two versions, Inner Beauty Hot Sauce and Inner Beauty REAL Hot Sauce. Maybe you got the former?

                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                        I have been making a (slight) variation on the first recipe. It's not the same as the Inner Beauty at the ECG, but I like it a lot (as do my friends and coworkers). I went to the most recent Hell Night (all three nights, lol) and the Inner Beauty was much thinner and more mustardy. Good, but not great.

                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          Supposedly the Serious Eats version (with the handwritten recipe) is the original.

                          The recipe in his cookbook is clearly not the original, as you could quite clearly taste the allspice and pineapple in the original version. Especially the former.

                          I make mine using sort of a mishmash of each recipe, with allspice and pineapple. No orange juice, wine or oil.

                          I haven't been to ECG for a few months now, but I agree that the last time I had the IB it was too mustardy. 6 months ago or so it was very tasty.

                    2. re: nsenada

                      I've maced my kitchen by putting all the seeds, stems, lopped off tops down the garbage disposer. FUMES!

                  2. They're usually at Haymarket for very small $.. quite a few West Indian customers.

                    1. I have always been able to find them at the Market Basket on Somerville Avenue

                      1. I ordered from these guys before. Great plants!