Jalapeno Pepper Scoville Units
The Jalapeno pepper is species of chili pepper that produces a slight burning sensation with consumption. When mature, the fruit is about two to four inches in length and a brilliant red color. However, they can be eaten when green or red. It originates from Mexico, where it is mainly grown today. Nearly 160 km square are used for growing this type of pepper in Mexico. In the United States, there is approximately 5,500 acres or 22 km of land where cultivation of the Jalapeno pepper takes place. Most American cultivation takes place in Texas and New Mexico. The Jalapeno pepper is produced, on a much smaller scale around the world. It usually takes around eighty days to grow Jalapeno peppers to maturity. The plant will grow to about three feet tall and yield up to thirty pods. During the season, growers will be able to pick from each plant numerous times. The heat level of this fruit is mild to hot. They have a rating in the range of 2,500-8,000 SHU or Scoville Heat Units. The rating is given in a range because it is dependent upon the method and area of cultivation.
There are various uses for the Jalapeno pepper. They are often used in jellies and mixed drinks. Some individuals enjoy these stuffed, breaded, and deep fried. Other people prefer them fresh or simply added to other dishes as means of enhancing the flavor. However, one of the most common uses of the Jalapeno pepper is the production of Chipotle peppers. In this process, growers allow the Jalapeno pepper to remain on the plant in the field until it becomes withered and dry. They harvest these and place them in a sealed smoking chamber. The peppers are stirred periodically to ensure that each pepper is thoroughly smoked. After three to four days, the Jalapeno peppers have been turned in to Chipotle peppers and ready for market. These are a high demand item around the world. They have an intensely smoky spice flavor. This makes them a great addition to many cuisines.
All chili peppers contain a certain amount of heat. This heat is produced by Capsaicin. Capsaicin is a chemical compound found in peppers. This heat producing compound is mainly located in the ribs and seeds of the pod but is erratically spread throughout the entire inside of the pepper. The Capsaicin is used to test each species of pepper to determine the rating of heat on the Scoville heat scale.