HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Speaking of jalapenos...

shanagain Jun 22, 2009 12:25 PM

Has anyone else been getting *insanely* hot jalapenos lately?

I've noticed for the last few years that jalapenos have become nothing more than glorified bell peppers in spiciness, but the last couple of times I've purchased...

OMG. Insanely, scary hot. Off the charts, really, for what I've become used to. Anyone else?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. f
    fourunder RE: shanagain Jun 22, 2009 12:27 PM

    I cannot say I ever get consistently hot Jalapenos from the market. My experience is they are generally mild on the meter for me.....and I eat them whole or slice with membrane and seeds. I've tried purchasing large sizes and small as well. I always hand pick them for firmness and I check the stems to make sure they are not dried out, so I do not think either of those two indicators can be a factor in the heat indices.

    I find Italian Long Hots have more heat than Jalapenos myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder
      shanagain RE: fourunder Jun 22, 2009 12:37 PM

      I'd honestly started to think that the heat was being bred out, until the last month or so. I'd also noticed a few people recently mentioning getting pretty fierce chemical burns from cutting jalapenos, even though they've been doing it for years sans-gloves. (I was pretty paranoid the last time I cut a lot of jalapenos, which were the crazy-hot kind, and didn't have gloves. Luckily, washing my hands several times during the cutting seemed to do the trick.

      I'd forgotten that jalapenos used to taste like this.

    2. g
      Greyghost RE: shanagain Jun 22, 2009 01:47 PM

      I put all jalapenos on the moderate scale as to hotness. Peppers can be funny though. Even individual peppers from the same source can vary wildly as to heat. This may be a factor.

      I believe a much larger factor is differences in individual peoples perception of heat. I like very hot peppers an tolerate them well. For me a jalapeno is a mild pepper with an undeserved reputation of being a very hot pepper. Other people consider them hot....it is really a matter of perception.

      Another factor may be that jalapenos have changed over time with the culture and are now created to have a smaller bite. Just look at the snack food industry featuring a hot jalapeno taste for their numerous products. I have never found one which is truly hot.
      I think this is done to cater to the vast majority of people brought up on bland food who think a little bit of spice is a lot.

      So it goes, farmers change the strains they grow for big business and the lowest common denominator prevails in the culture. When a few old fashioned jalapenos show up, people consider them insanely hot. Anyway, these are my few humble toughts on the matter and are submitted for your approval or not as the case may be.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Greyghost
        Bumstead RE: Greyghost Jun 28, 2009 05:48 AM

        Absolutely! I had begun to routinely use a jalapeno or two in various veggie dishes. Last week I made a huge casserole and included 1 small jalapeno - WOW!. It was so hot I had to throw most of it out.

      2. roxlet RE: shanagain Jun 28, 2009 05:55 AM

        I had an occasion to shop in a Korean market in NJ recently, and I bought some jalepenos. Usually, jalepenos are so mild that I chop the whole thing and don't bother to seed or de-rib them. Wow! They were so incredibly hot. I just thought that it was where I bought them!

        1. scubadoo97 RE: shanagain Jun 28, 2009 01:45 PM

          I picked up a pound at the farmers market in Tampa recently and smoked them. I couldn't dry them out like chipotles but they are nice and smokey. Also very hot. I attributed the increase in heat to the concentration of capsaicin in the smoking process. They are fire bombs

          1 Reply
          1. re: scubadoo97
            SkippyLeBeef RE: scubadoo97 Jun 28, 2009 02:57 PM

            There is NOTHING worse than looking forward to launching into a fresh, green jalapeno and anticipating a nice pop of sweat on the forehead and it tastes like a green bell pepper. Ugh.

          2. bermudagourmetgoddess RE: shanagain Jun 29, 2009 05:42 AM

            I have been growing my own and find they are much hotter than the ones I use to purchase at the stores...However maybe someone can help me...One a couple of plants I had half come in red, can someone advise me why this happened...I have yet to try, but I am going to give it a whirl tonight.

            Roast 2 Jalapenos, after rmoving char outside, deseed and place into a food processor with 2 sticks of salted butter (real butter please) and a tbsp of creme fresh and place on plastic wrap and rool like a log and place in fridge ...Slather on grilled corn or use in making hash ...it's supr good!

            2 Replies
            1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess
              jacobp RE: bermudagourmetgoddess Jun 29, 2009 06:28 AM

              It could be as easy as that when jalapenos ripen they turn red. As you probably already know, red jalapenos are usually smoked and turned into chipotles.

              1. re: jacobp
                bermudagourmetgoddess RE: jacobp Jun 29, 2009 07:29 AM

                These aregrowing red, not turning!

                As said I haven't tasted the heat in them yet, but can't wait too. Probably will make my own Chipotles and give out at the office ;)

            2. NYCkaren RE: shanagain Jun 29, 2009 07:57 AM

              I have noticed that, yes. I never use gloves for handling jalapenos but I could have used some the other day. My hands got a bit burned.

              1 Reply
              1. re: NYCkaren
                bermudagourmetgoddess RE: NYCkaren Jun 29, 2009 08:32 AM

                Thanks for reminding me to pick up some gloves on the way home ;)

              2. e
                ehmi RE: shanagain Jun 29, 2009 02:38 PM

                North of the 49th, used to eat the imported peppers with abandon...now folks are actually sometimes yelping at the ABTs that have been made. Would like to know what gives as I have actually had a few tear jerkers in recent weeks.

                1. bermudagourmetgoddess RE: shanagain Jun 30, 2009 06:47 AM

                  So picked and pruned my pepper trees last night, by the time I was done it was too late to do anything with them...However now I have a good 5 lbs of Jalapenos and Cayenne peppers....Anyone know of any good Pepper Jam recipes???

                  1. sbp RE: shanagain Jun 30, 2009 07:07 AM

                    I'm convinced the heat has been bred out of jalapenos. But there will still be variability. Among other things, the ambient temperature during the growing seasons affects heat. Apparently, the hotter/drier it is, the hotter the pepper.

                    1. hyacinthgirl RE: shanagain Jun 30, 2009 01:33 PM

                      Yes, yes yes! We were just having that conversation yesterday as we made nachos. I chopped them with bare hands, as I'd been doing for the last few years with no problems. But last night, my hands stung all night! We could barely eat them, and had to alternate our bites of nachos with bites of ice cream... which, I have to say, not such a bad combo, really...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hyacinthgirl
                        wineman3 RE: hyacinthgirl Jul 3, 2009 10:07 PM

                        If you are not stuffing them and are looking for something one notch up on the heat scale try some serrano peppers. Not exactly the same taste but a notch or two higher on the pecante scale. For example if you have ever been to Mexico the Pico de Gallo has serrano in it not Jalapeno. If you are looking for something even higher, 8 on a scale of 10, try chile pequin. Chiles are funny because you can buy from the same bin at a store and one will be smokn' hot and the other mild.......microclimates and soil conditions just like wine.

                      Show Hidden Posts