A Compendium of Chili Pepper Varieties
The Chile Cultivars of New Mexico State University Released from 1913 to 2008
Coming Soon — Blazing A Super Hot Trail To You!
If you thought that Jerry's Fire Ghost Pepper Salt was hot [and it is!]
We are preparing to bring you a whole new experience of HOT!
— Introducing —
Carolina Reaper Flakes
Twice as hot as the Ghost Pepper!
While it may not seem to make sense that a chili pepper that is one-hundred times hotter than a jalapeño pepper has any commercial
value, the reality is that the super-hot pepper business is every bit as hot as the pepper. One of the world's leading publishers of
business intelligence, IBISWorld, recently identified hot sauce production as one
of America's fastest-growing industries. In the last few years, the average American has pursued adding spice to their meals, and the food
industry has obliged. From 2010 to 2012, the mention of the word "spicy" on fast food menus increased nearly fifteen percent, according to
food industry consulting firm Technomic. To underscore the trend, the leading
brand of sriracha hot chili sauce sold twenty million bottles last year. Technomic's data reflected that 2013 was the first year ever that
a majority of Americans say they prefer hot or spicy sauces, dips, and condiments. These data are very encouraging to Ed Currie, the so-
called father of the Carolina Reaper. Currie anticipates a harvest of about seventeen million peppers this year from his property in South
Carolina, This harvest could earn Currie as much as $1,000,000 from sales of seeds and the blending of his peppers into a paste that is
then sold to hot sauce producers.
The Carolina Reaper versus the Ghost Pepper — Two outrageously hot chili peppers. The Ghost Pepper is like the well-established
rock star, while the Carolina Reaper is the blazing hot up-and-comer. Along with the Trinidad Scorpion Butch-T, these are
currently the hottest chili peppers known. So, what, other than heat, are the differencies between the Ghost Pepper and the Carolina
In terms of heat, samples of Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia) have been measured in the range from 855,000 to 1,041,427 Scoville Heat
Units [SHUs]. Carolina Reaper samples have been recorded from 1,400,000 to 2,200,000 SHUs! Using the popular Jalapeño as a
reference point [2,500 to 8,000 SHUs]: The mildest Ghost Pepper heat value is 107 times greater that the hottest
jalapeño, and the hottest Carolina Reaper is 880 times hotter than the mildest jalapeño.
For now, the Carolina Reaper is certainly the winner purely in terms of heat. Simply handling any of these three mega-hot peppers
requires considerable care. Attempting to eat them raw is to be highly discouraged, although there are people that will do the Ghost
Pepper challenge. However, these peppers real culinary significance lies in their use as the foundation for extreme hot sauces, salsas
and other firey condiments rather than as a raw cooking pepper. These peppers are just too hot for almost everyone unless the pepper
extract has been diluted with other ingredients.
Ghost Peppers and Carolina Reapers both of have a surprising sweetness to them, but the Carolina Reaper has been bred to be likely the
sweetest super-hot pepper of the bunch. You will get the taste of these peppers before the heat hits. Then it is a slow burn with both
peppers. It takes about 30 seconds to a minute for the heat to begin to hit, and then it intensifies over a period of 30 minutes or so
The sweetness of both of these chilies is used to advantage in the preparation of hot sauces. This can be accomplished by blending these
peppers with tropical fruits, such as mangoes, and other sweet ingredients. In this way, they share a lot with the milder, but still
seriously hot, Habanero and Scotch Bonnet chilies, which are more widely available.
Based on heat alone, the Carolina Reaper is indeed the winner - at least for now - but the Ghost Pepper generally is more widely available
at this time, especially in product form. The Ghost Pepper's reputation has generated a cult-like following over the past several years
that is hard to beat. However, the Carolina Reaperís reputation is growing rapidly, and it has the characteristics to allow it to become
the new star in the chili pepper realm.
Use caution in dealing with either of these these chilies. If handling these chilies, you will need to use gloves, eye protection and
breathing protection. Also be aware that the vapors from the chilies can deposit on exposed skin. These peppers are most definitely not for
the masses. They are not even for the mildly adventurous. These are for officianados of extreme heat who seriously love the high end
of the pepper scale! If you consider yourself part of the mildly adventurous group, we recommend exploring the Habanero and Scotch Bonnet.
They are still seriously hot, but you will likely enjoy your heat experience more!
The Carolina Reaper is a cultivar of chili peppers of the Capsicum chinense species, originally named the "HP22B". The peppers, bred by Ed
Currie, who runs PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill, South Carolina,
United States. As of 2014, it is the world's most piquant pepper. The original crossbred was between a red Naga pepper and a
Red Savina pepper. The Carolina Reaper was rated as the world's hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records from 2012 to 2014.
It averages 1,569,300 on the Scoville scale with peak levels of over 2,200,000 SHUs having been recorded. Previously, the holder of the
world record for peppers was the Trinidad Scorpion Butch-T pepper.
Listing of Common Chili Pepper Varietals
African Birdís Eye / African Devil: 175,000 SHUs. Sometimes known as Piri
Piri, the African Birdís Eye is a small chili, growing to only about 1 inch, but they pack a lot of punch.
Aji pepper: 1,200-75,000 SHUs. Also known generally as the Peruvian hot
pepper, aji is the common name primarily in South America and areas of the Caribbean for chili peppers.
Ají Amarillo: 30,000-50,000 SHUs. Since Amarillo is the Spanish
word for yellow, and Ají is the term for chili in South America, this pepper is also appropriately known as the
Ají Limo: 30,000-50,000 SHUs. The Limo chile (or Ají Limo) is
another super-hot chili from Peru. Ají is the term for chile pepper in South America.
AjŪ Panca: 500 Scovilles. The Panca chili (or AjŪ Panca, as itís known in
South America), is a deep red to burgundy pepper, measuring 3-5 inches.
Aleppo pepper: About 10,000 SHUs. The Aleppo pepper (C. annum), also
known as the Halaby pepper, is named after the city of Aleppo in Northern Syria. It is commonly grown in Syria and Turkey, and is usually
dried and crushed.
Anaheim pepper: 500-1,000 SHUs. A mild, medium-sized chili pepper that grows
to 6-10 inches, often used when green, though it can be used when red.
Ancho pepper: 1,000-2,000 SHUs. An ancho pepper is dried form of the poblano
Bahamian pepper: 95,000-110,000 SHUs. As its name suggests, the Bahamian
pepper originated in the Bahamas, where it is still one of the major agricultural crops.
Baker's Hot chili pepper: 15,000-30,000 SHUs. The Barkerís Hot is an extra-
hot chile, the hottest of the Anaheim/New Mexico variety, and it has great flavor.
Banana pepper: Up to about 500 SHUs. Also known as the yellow wax pepper, the
banana pepper has a mild, sweet taste that is very popular on many types of foods.
Bhut Jolokia pepper: 1,001,304 SHUs. Once ranked as the hottest chili pepper
in the world, and currently, the most widely available of the mega-hot peppers.
Birdís Eye pepper: 50,000-100,000 SHUs. The tiny Birdís Eye pepper originated
in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and surrounding countries, but they can now be found all over the world.
Bishopís Crown pepper: 5,000-30,000 SHUs. A member of the species C.
baccatum that includes the AjŪ pepper.
Bolivian Rainbow pepper: 10,000-30,000 SHUs. Grown for centuries in Bolivia,
the Bolivian Rainbow chile is a stunningly beautiful plant.
Caribbean Red Habanero pepper: 300,000-475,000 SHUs. This extremely hot
pepper, originally from the Yucatn peninsula in Mexico, is now also cultivated in the Carribean and around North America.
Carolina Cayenne pepper: 100,000-125,000 SHUs. Similar in appearance to the
original cayenne, this variety is twice as hot and generally is slightly wider.
Carolina Reaper pepper: With a Guinness-submitted 1,569,383 SHUs average and
measured peak levels of over 2,200,000 SHU, "SMOKINí EDíS CAROLINA REAPERģ officially completed its journey to the top of the
super-hot chili charts.
Cascabel peppers: 1,000-3,000 SHUs. The Cascabel Chile (C. annum) is
grown in several areas of Mexico. It is small and round, 2-3 cm in diameter, and matures to a deep red.
Cayenne pepper: 30,000-50,000 SHUs. A thin chile pepper, green to red in
color, about 2 to 3 inches long. Cayenne pepper is widely used in the dried, ground form.
Charleston Hot pepper: 70,000-100,000 SHUs. Similar to the "Carolina
Cayenne", the "Charleston Hot" is a variety of "Cayenne" created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in
Chilaca pepper: 1,000-2,500 SHUs. The chilaca is a curved, long, thin pepper,
that grows to about 6-9 inches long and 1 inch wide.
Chile de Árbol pepper: Sources rate this chile in 2 categories: 15,000-
30,000 SHUs and 50,000-65,000 SHUs. Chiles de Árbol are small and thin Mexican peppers, growing to 2-3 inches long and less than
one-half inch wide.
Chile Pequin pepper: 30,000-60,000 SHUs. The pequin pepper is a varietal of
C. annuum. Sometimes spelled Piquin, this chili is also called "Bird Pepper", because it is consumed and spread by wild
Chiltepin pepper: 50,000-100,000 SHUs. The Chiltepin, or Chiltepine, is a
tiny, round or oval shaped, red to orange-red chili, measuring about 0.8cm in diameter. A member of the species Capsicum
Chimayo pepper: 4,000-6,000 SHUs. The Chimayo is another New Mexico chile,
but it is a unique one. It is not commercially mass produced but more commonly grown in individual homes and gardens, making them
unpredictable and non-conforming, but in a good way.
Chipotle pepper: 2,500-8,000 SHUs. A chipotle is a smoked jalapeno chili
pepper. You'll notice the distinctive smoky flavor of certain foods like salsas that have been prepared with chipotle peppers. Very
Chocolate 7-Pot Chili Pepper: Recently tested between 923,000 and 1.85
million SHUs, with an average of 1,169,058. Only the Moruga Scorpion scored higher. It is suspected that it could reach 2 million in the
7-Pot Chili Pepper: Over 1 Million SHUs. The heat of the 7-Pot pepper is
similar to the Bhut Jolokia but with a more fruity and nutty flavor, like other Caribbean peppers. It is becoming more popular and
well-known among 'chile-heads', but the seeds are very rare and hard to find.
Chocolate Habanero pepper: 300,000-425,000 SHUs. The Chocolate Habanero, also
known as Congo Black or Black Habanero, is one of the hottest peppers originating from the Caribbean.
Coronado pepper: 700-1,000 SHUs. Originally from South America, the Coronado
Pepper grows to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide with a thin, waxy skin.
Cubanelle pepper: Up to about 1,000 SHUs. The Cubanelle is also known as
"Cuban pepper", is a variety of sweet pepper of the species Capsicum annuum. When unripe, it is light yellowish-green in
color, but will turn bright red if allowed to ripen. Compared to bell peppers it has thinner flesh, is longer, and has a slightly more
wrinkled appearance. It is generally considered a sweet pepper, although its heat can range from mild to moderate.
Datil: 100,000Ė300,000 SHUs. The Datil packs the intense heat of a habanero
or a Scotch Bonnet, but its flavor is sweeter, and more fruity.
Devil's Tongue pepper: 125,000-325,000 SHUs. The Devilís Tongue is similar in
color and shape to the Fatalii, but with smoother skin and smaller size.
Diablo Grande pepper: 60,000-100,000 SHUs. The "Diablo Grande"
comes from the same group that includes jalapenos, poblanos, cayenne, and serrano peppers.
Dorset Naga pepper: 1 million to 1.5 million SHUs. (C. Chinense)
Development of the Dorset Naga pepper began near Dorset, England, around 2001 when Joy and Michael Michaud of 'Peppers by Post'
bought a Naga Morich plant from an Oriental foods store in southern England.
Dundicut chili pepper: 55,000-65,000 SHUs. (C. annuum). These small,
round chili peppers from Pakistan grow to about Ĺ inch to 1 inch in diameter and are dark red in color.
Fatalii pepper: 125,000-325,000 SHUs. The Fatalii comes from central and
southern Africa, and is one of the hottest peppers in the world. With the heat level of a habanero, it has a more fruity, citrus flavor,
and packs an instant, intense burn, unlike the habanero, whose heat 'sneaks up on you'.
Fresno pepper: 2,500-10,000 SHUs. Another varietal of the species C.
annuum. The Fresno pepper looks and tastes almost like a jalapeno, but they can be somewhat hotter. Fresno peppers change from green
to red as they grow, and increase in hotness, but they are often harvested and sold as green.
Ghost Pepper or Ghost Chili: An alternative name for the Bhut Jolokia
Gibralta/Spanish Naga pepper: 1,086,844 SHUs. The Gibralta Naga, or Spanish
Naga, is of course grown in Spain, but was developed in the UK from Indian chili peppers.
Guajillo pepper: 2,500-5,000 SHUs. The Guajillo is another Capsicum
Annuum varietal and one of the most common and popular chiles grown and used in Mexico. It is mild to moderately hot, and has dark,
reddish brown, leathery skin.
Guntur Sannam pepper: 35,000-40,000 SHUs. The Guntur Sannam chili (C.
annum var. is grown in and around Guntur and Warangal in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.
Habanero pepper: 100,000-350,000 SHUs. Related to the Scotch Bonnet. This one
is the granddaddy of all the hot peppers in terms of heat level. Grown mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, its coloring is
yellow-orange, orange or bright red, depending upon when it's harvested. Average Size 1 to 2 1/2 inches long and 1 to 2 inches diameter
Hidalgo pepper: 6,000-17,000 SHUs. The Hidalgo is an heirloom pepper, similar
in shape and hotness to the Serrano, originally from Mexico and Central America.
Hungarian Wax pepper: 5,000-15,000 SHUs. The Hungarian Wax Pepper, as its
name suggests, originated in Hungary.
Infinity Chili pepper: 1,176,182 SHUs. Created in England by Nick Woods of
"Fire Foods", the Infinity Chili pepper held the World Record for the worldís hottest chili pepper for two weeks in 2011,
before it was ousted by the Naga Viper chili.
Jalapeno pepper: 2,500-8,000 SHUs. The world's most popular chili pepper!
Harvested when they are green or red if allowed to ripen, about 4-6 inches long. A chipotle is a smoked jalapeno chili pepper.
Jamaican Hot: 100,000-200,000 SHUs. As the name suggests, these peppers are
from Jamaica, but have become popular around the world.
Jwala Finger hot pepper: 20,000-30,000 SHUs. The Jwala is the most popular
chile in India, adding great flavor and spice to many Indian dishes.
Lemon Drop chili pepper: 15,000-30,000 SHUs. This bright yellow, citrus-
flavored chile is also known as Kellu Uchu in Peru, where it originated.
Madame Jeanette: 225,000 SHUs. Named after a famous Brazilian prostitute, the
Madame Jeanette has the shape of a bell pepper, but the intense heat of a habanero.
Malagueta pepper: 60,000-100,000 SHUs. The Malagueta chili pepper is similar
in appearance to the Birdís Eye chili or the Thai chili because of its bright red color and short, tapered body. It starts out green and
matures to red, and grows to only about 2 inches in length.
Mirasol pepper: 2,500-5,000 SHUs. The name Mirasol means "looking at the
sun" in Spanish, which describes the way these peppers grow on the plant. They are known as Guajillo in their dried form,
which are one of the main chiles used in traditional mole sauces.
Morita pepper: 2,500-8,000 SHUs. A smoked red jalapeno, similar to a chipotle
Mulato pepper: 2,500-3,000 SHUs. The Mulato pepper (Capsicum Annuum)
is a mild to medium chili pepper, closely related to the poblano (ancho) and usually sold dried. Mexican mulato chiles are part of the
famous 'trinity' used in mole, as well as other Mexican sauces and stews. The mulatoís color while growing is dark green, maturing to red
or brown. The dried mulato is flat and wrinkled, and always brownish-black in color. The average length and width of the mulato is 10 cm
and 5 cm, respectively. Its shape is wide at the top, tapering to a blunt point. The mulato has been described as tasting somewhat like
chocolate or licorice, with undertones of cherry and tobacco.
Naga Jolokia pepper: An alternative name for the Bhut Jolokia
Naga Viper: 1,382,118 SHUs. The Naga Viper (Capsicum chinense) was
rated at 1,382,118 SHUs, according to tests conducted by the Warwick HRI Mineral Analysis Laboratory, UK, in November 2010.
Numex twilight is one of the most unusual varieties of chili pepper developed at New Mexico State University (which creates all "NuMex"
breeds of plant). It grows about 18 inches tall, and becomes covered in peppers that start out purple, then move through yellow and
orange, becoming red when fully ripe, producing a rainbow effect on the green plant. It is a hybrid based on the Thai Ornamental
New Mex XX Hot pepper: 60,000-70,000 SHUs. Another of the many New Mexico
varieties, Cultivars such as this are hotter than others in order to suit the tastes of New Mexicans in their traditional foods.
This cultivar can be as hot as 70,000 Scoville Heat Units, indicating large genetic variability.
New Mexico Scorpion: 1,191,595 SHUs. A New Mexico-based team has developed a
super-hot chile known as the New Mexico Scorpion. This pepper has been rated at 1,191,595 Scoville Heat Units by an independent
Pasilla pepper: 250 - 4,000 SHUs. Pasilla (literally, little raisin)
refers to more than one variety of chili pepper in the species Capsicum annuum. A true pasilla is the dried form of the long and
narrow chilaca pepper. In the United States, though, producers and grocers often incorrectly use 'pasilla' to describe the poblano, a
different, wider variety of pepper, the dried form of which is called an ancho. Pasillas are used especially in sauces. They are sold
whole or powdered in Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Paprika pepper: 250 - 1000 SHUs. Paprika is a spice made from air-dried
fruits of the chili pepper family of the species C. annuum. Although paprika is often associated with Hungarian cuisine, the
chilies from which it is made are native to the New World. Spain and Portugal introduced C. annuum to the Old World from the
Pepperoncini pepper: 100-500 SHUs. Also known as Tuscan Peppers. These sweet,
mild chili peppers are found in Italy and Greece.
Peter pepper: 5,000-30,000 SHUs. This very interesting chili makes a great
conversation piece in the garden or in the kitchen due to its distinctively phallic shape, hence its name.
Picuanté / Peppadew pepper: 1,200 SHUs. The Peppadew (Capsicum
Baccatum) is grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa, and is actually the brand name of sweet piquanté peppers.
Pimento (or Pimiento) pepper: 100 - 500 SHUs. A pimiento, pimento, or cherry
pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper (C. annuum) that measures 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm) long and 2 to 3
inches (5 to 7 cm) wide (medium, elongate). The flesh of the pimiento is sweet, succulent, and more aromatic than that of the red bell
pepper. Some varieties of the pimiento type are hot, including the 'Floral Gem' and 'Santa Fe Grande' varieties. Pimiento is a Spanish
loanword. Pimento or piment„o are Portuguese words for "bell pepper", while pimenta refers to peppercorns and
chili peppers are known as piri piri or malagueta. It is typically used fresh or pickled. The pimento has one of the lowest
Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper.
Poblano pepper: 1,000-2,000 SHUs. The poblano is an extremly popular chili
pepper. Generally, about four inches in length, very dark green in color, ripening to dark red or brown.
Purple Jalapeno pepper: 2,500-8,000 SHUs. The Purple Jalapeno is an
ornamental version of the typical jalapeno pepper.
Puya pepper: 5,000-8,000 SHUs. The Puya chile is similar to the Guajillo, but
it is smaller and hotter.
Red Amazon pepper: 75,000 SHUs. The Red Amazon is actually dried Tabasco
chili, but since it is so commonly known in this form, it is included here.
Red Savina Habanero pepper: 200,000-580,000 SHUs. This pepper is a cultivar
of the habanero. It once held the Guinness Record for the hottest chili pepper, but was topped by the Bhut Jolokia [ghost
Rocotillo pepper: 1,500-2,500 SHUs. There is some confusion about the
rocotillo chili pepper, since some appear to be from Capsicum baccatum and some from Capsicum Chinense.
Rocoto pepper: 30,000-100,000 SHUs. This pepper is also known as the Manzano
pepper. It is normally found in South America. It is among the oldest of domesticated chili peppers, and was grown up to as much as 5000
years ago. It is probably related to undomesticated chili peppers that still grow in South America.
Santa Fe Grande pepper: 500-700 SHUs. Also known as the yellow hot chile and
the guero chile. Approximately 5 inches long and ripen from greenish-yellow, to orange-yellow to red.
Santaka pepper: 40,000-50,000 SHUs. From Japan, the Santaka chili pepper is a
hot and flavorful Asian variety, perfect for Asian cooking, especially stir-fries.
Scotch bonnet pepper: 100,000-350,000 SHUs. This pepper is a cultivar of the
habanero and is among the hottest peppers anywhere. Its name derives from its resemblance to the Scottish Tam oí Shanter hat, though it
appears primarily in the Carribean and in Guyana and the Maldives.
Shipkas pepper: 5,000-30,000 SHUs. Also known as the "Bulgarian Carrot
Pepper", this chili pepper looks remarkably like a carrot, with its bright orange color and long, narrow body.
Sonora pepper: 300Ė600 SHUs. The Sonora is an Anaheim variety with a very
mild flavor. It grows to about 10 inches in length and up to 1-Ĺ inches wide, and although it matures to red, it is commonly used in its
less mature, green form.
Super Chili pepper: 40,000-50,000 SHUs. These small peppers grow upright in
clusters and mature from light green to red, often with shades of orange in between.
Sweet bell pepper: Zero  Scoville Heat Units [SHUs]. The typical bell pepper,
widely available in green, yellow, red and orange varieties. Flavorful with no heat.
Serrano pepper: 5,000-23,000 SHUs. A smaller version of the jalapeno, similar
in color, but smaller, about 1 to 2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide. Dark green to redish in color. Getting hotter!
Tabasco pepper: 30,000 - 50,000 SHUs. Yep, this is the chili pepper used in
Tabasco sauce. The fruit is tapered and under 2 inches long. The color is usually creamy yellow to red.
Tabiche pepper: 85,000-115,000 SHUs. Originally from India, the Tabiche
pepper can now be found growing worldwide and often year-round, but it does best in hot, dry climates.
Thai chili pepper: 50,000-100,000 SHUs. Despite the common belief, there is
no single "Thai chili pepper" though most candidates for the title are small in size and high in heat or pungency. There are at
least 79 separate varieties of chili that have appeared from three species in Thailand.
Tien Tsin pepper: 50,000-75,000 SHUs. The Tien Tsin is named after the
province in China where its harvest originally took place.
Tiger Paw NR pepper: 265,000-328,000 SHUs. Developed in Charleston, South
Carolina, the Tiger Paw NR is an extra-hot bright orange habanero variety.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper: 2,009,231 SHUs. In February 2012, the 2012
New Mexico Chile Conference, in association with Jim Duffy of 'Refining Fire Chiles', announced that the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
was the hottest chili pepper in the world. Testing at 2,009,231 Scoville Heat Units, this chili pepper is 'nuclear hot'!
Trinidad perfume pepper: 500 SHUs. The Trinidad Perfume chili pepper is a
mild chili pepper with very little to no heat. It is a habanero type and produces pods similar to a typical, orange habanero pepper,
about 1 to 1.5 inches long and 1.25 inches wide.
Trinidad Scorpion (Butch-T) pepper: 1,463,700 SHUs. The Trinidad Scorpion
(Butch-T) was rated at 1,463,700 SHUs, based on laboratory test results. It was propagated by Butch Taylor of 'Zydeco Hot Sauce' and
grown by the 'Chilli Factory'.
Trinidad Scorpion pepper: 300,000 SHUs. These red, wrinkled peppers
resemble the scorpion, hence the name, and are known for their intense heat.
Yatsafusa pepper: 75,000 SHUs. Also known as Japanese chili. Originating in
Japan, these chiles come from small plants (the name refers to a dwarf tree) and grow upward in clusters around yellow flowers.