In Mexican cuisine a number of different types of peppers are used. Each pepper has its own texture, taste and spicy level. Some peppers are even considered to be sweet. Depending on the dish or the person’s love of spice, different peppers will be used. For those who wonder how spicy a dish will be, you can often know by the types of peppers used in the dish. Each pepper’s zesty level is rated by the Scoville scale. A Scoville scale starts at .0 and can go as high as 2.2 million depending on the type of pepper. If you want to know the different spicy levels of pepper to make sure you can handle the Mexican dish you may want to try, Eddies Mexican Restaurant would like to share more about the Scoville scale and the ratings for the different types of peppers.
Where Does the Scoville Scale Start?
The Scoville scale is named after Wilbur L. Scoville who first created the spicy or hot scale of the different peppers. The scale was invented to aid in the Scoville’s Organoleptic Test in 1912 to find the right pepper to use for a heat-producing ointment. The Scoville scale is designed to measure the amount of capsaicin which is the chemical in peppers that gives them their spicy kick. It is the capsaicin chemical that causes the tongue to burn, the body to sweat and even can make an ear ache after eating a pepper. Most of the capsaicin is found in the pepper’s seed which is why if you don’t like a lot of spicy flavor, you should always remove the seeds in the pepper. There is another chemical found in some cactus like plants that contain resiniferatoxin which is much hotter compared to the Scoville scale, if you cannot handle spicy food, avoid foods with resiniferatoxin.
What is the Hottest Scoville Unit?
The Scoville scale is broken into heat units. The lower the unit, the less spicy it will be. The higher the unit, the more spicy the pepper will be. Often you will see SHU (Scoville Heat Unit) next to the pepper’s spicy level. Below is the list of the different types of peppers and their SHU levels.
• Bell Peppers: .0 SHU
• Jalapeno Peppers: 2,500 to 5,000 SHU
• Chipotle Peppers: 5,000 to 10,000 SHU
• Serrano Peppers: 6,000 to 23,000 SHU
• Cayenne Peppers: 30,000 to 50,000 SHU
• Chili Peppers: 50,000 to 100,000 SHU
• Habaneros also known as Scotch Bonnet Peppers: 100,000 to 350,000 SHU
• Red Savina Peppers: 500,000 SHU
• Ghost Peppers: 1,000,000 SHU
• Naga Viper Peppers: 1,300,000 SHU
• Carolina Reaper Pepper: 2,200,000 SHU
Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Las Vegas, Nevada (Just Minutes from Summerlin, North LV, Paradise, Lone Mountain & Henderson, NV)
Depending on the type of pepper, the scale can greatly vary. It is important to know how much heat you can handle and stay within your SHU number. In most Mexican cuisine, you will find dishes with bell peppers, chili peppers and in some cases, the ghost pepper. At Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant we mostly use bell and red or green chili peppers to bring a delightful spicy flavor to many of our dishes. If you are craving some spicy Mexican food, come on down to Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant today.