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Scotch bonnet peppers


I plan on making Jamaican jerk chicken this weekend and need a source for scotch bonnet peppers in San Diego. I tried Specialty Produce but they don't have them in stock.
Any ideas?


Specialty Produce
1929 Hancock St, San Diego, CA

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  1. Habanero peppers are very close to Scotch Bonnets and are a decent substitution. You can also use chile manzana, or in a pinch, serranos in double the amount of Scotch Bonnet.

    The best selection of fresh chiles I've found is at Northgate market on 43rd, just off the 805. They've got both habanero and manzanas, just make sure the skin is smooth and wrinkle free. They've also got a lot of other different fresh chiles.

    Habaneros, manzanas and scotch bonnets all share the same incindiary qualities, but they also have some really nice fruity ones as well. Manzanas are kind of cool, they are the only chile with black seeds.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Thanks for the quick response, DiningDiva!
      I will use habaneros or manzanas if I can't find the scotch bonnets.

    2. as mentioned the northgate markets have them. Also North Park Produce typically has them.

      1. So funny. I was going to ask the same thing from CH. There used to be a place called African/Caribbean Food Market that used to carry them on El Cajon BLVD. Try there. http://www.acfmsandiego.com/

        1. Thanks everyone. I ended up going to North Park Produce. No scotch bonnets but they had plenty of habaneros in stock.

          1. I confirmed today for future that the African/Carrabean market has them fresh frozen at all times. I am going make jerk pork this weekend and pick some up.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dbwave

              Good to know. I am certain that I will make jerk chicken again soon since it was delicious, and I will make sure to go there next time for the scotch bonnets. Thanks!

            2. I can confirm that the African/Caribbean Food Market on 4811 El Cajon Blvd still carries these, fresh frozen. Looking forward to trying em out tonight! Glad I found this thread. None of the other ethnic markets I went to carried these.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Surrealist

                Good to know as well. Might try specialty produce but those should suffice.

                1. re: Surrealist

                  Which do they have at the African/Caribbean market on El Cajon? Yellow, orange, red?

                2. The only place I've ever seen Scotch Bonnets in San Diego is at Pancho Villa's (on El Cajon Blvd just east of the 805).
                  I've made a few recipes that called for harder to find peppers and I can usually find something here.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: ikeg

                    I agree, their selection of chiles, fresh and dried, is pretty good

                    1. re: ikeg

                      In that area and stopped in on my way past. No Scotch bonnets today.

                      They did have some fully ripe (red) habaneros, another chili I rarely see in stores that I frequent. So that was nice.

                      Also went into Carnival on Ashford on my way home on the chance they might have Scotch bonnets. No such luck.

                      1. re: DoctorChow

                        Guys. I went the African Caribbean store today. They have PLENTY of these peppers in their frozen section.

                        1. re: dbwave

                          That's good to know. I'd like to get some to keep in the freezer. Although I'd prefer fresh, frozen will work fine for marinades and most cooking.

                          Are they at the same location? Their website is dead.

                          1. re: DoctorChow

                            Save those seeds Doc and plant them.

                            I one time got some S/Bs from a Jamaican restaurant and extracted the seeds which did grow in a pot.

                            Had far too many to use on my own.


                            1. re: knifesavers

                              That's a good idea, Jim, although I don't think I'll try it at home. I've never had luck with that. But a friend in La Mesa has the microclimate and skills to grow really good chilies -- I'll give him a few Scotch Bonnets and let him have at it! He regularly grows great habaneros, gorgeous cayennes, and others from seed.

                          2. re: dbwave

                            @dbwave. I was at this tiny Mom&Pop shop earlier today and cleaned them out (four packets of three each, plus a humungous loose one). Their Scotch bonnets look to be homegrown, which is just fine, but it might be a while before they have more. Sorry.

                            Loved the little shop. I really felt like I'd walked into a store somewhere in Jamaica.