A Guide to the Different Types of Chili Peppers for Cooking

Chili peppers come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and levels of heat. Here are some popular types of chili peppers:

1. Jalapeño

Jalapeño peppers are one of the most widely recognized chili peppers. They are medium-sized with a green color when unripe, turning red as they mature. Jalapeños have a moderate level of heat and are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, salsas, and pickled form.

2. Serrano

Serrano peppers are smaller and hotter than jalapeños. They are typically green when unripe, ripening to red, yellow, or orange. Serrano peppers are commonly used in salsas, hot sauces, and spicy dishes.

3. Habanero

Habanero peppers are known for their intense heat and fruity flavor. They come in various colors, including orange, red, yellow, and even chocolate brown. Habaneros are often used in hot sauces, marinades, and spicy dishes, but should be used with caution due to their high heat level.

4. Poblano

Poblano peppers are larger and mild to medium in heat. They have a dark green color and a slightly earthy, rich flavor. Poblanos are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, particularly for stuffing to make chiles rellenos.

5. Cayenne

Cayenne peppers are long and thin with a vibrant red color. They have a high heat level and are often used in powdered form as a spice. Cayenne pepper adds heat and a distinctive flavor to many dishes, including curries, sauces, and marinades.

6. Thai Bird’s Eye

Thai Bird’s Eye peppers are small and extremely hot. They are commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and add intense heat to dishes such as stir-fries, curries, and spicy sauces.

7. Anaheim

Anaheim peppers are mild to medium in heat and have a long, tapered shape. They are commonly used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, often roasted and used in dishes like chiles rellenos or salsas.

These are just a few examples of chili peppers, and there are many more varieties available worldwide. It’s important to note that the heat levels of chili peppers can vary, and personal tolerance to heat can differ, so it’s always a good idea to handle and consume chili peppers with care.