The Imperfect Digest

Educating and connecting our community.

Hot for Habaneros: How and Why You Should Love Fiery Peppers!

Hot for Habaneros: How and Why You Should Love Fiery Peppers!

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Habanero pepper season is here and we’re really excited to spread the love for these fiery beauties. While they have a fearsome reputation and look like the devil’s Christmas ornaments, we’re here to show you how hot peppers like habaneros can be a flavorful addition to your next Imperfect box. Let’s start with the basics:

Just how hot are habaneros?

Chile pepper heat is measured in something called Scoville units. As a reference, a bell pepper has 0, a jalapeño has a couple thousand, a cayenne has 30-50 thousand, and a habanero has 100 to 300 thousand. Some of the hottest peppers on earth have been bred from habaneros. One of the hottest on record is the Carolina reaper, which has over 1.5 MILLION scoville units

What’s so great about habaneros?

Habanero peppers are the ultimate ingredient for the frugal cook because a little bit goes a LONG way! In addition to their trademark fire, habaneros have a wonderful, fruity flavor that is a great addition to salsas, sauces, and marinades. 

What can I do with habaneros

We love habaneros in salsa, especially alongside mangoes. They also make a killer addition to a homemade hot sauce alongside your Imperfect carrots!

What if I don’t like spicy food?

To tame the heat of a habanero , or any pepper for that matter, just remove the seeds and membranes, as that’s where most of the heat lives. Roasting or sautéing hot peppers will also significantly reduce their spiciness. When in doubt, serve alongside a creamy component like sour cream or yogurt to help quench the fire. 

How can I handle them safely?

While habaneros are delicious, the oil from their seeds and membranes can hurt if you get it somewhere you don't want. So, anytime you're handling spicy peppers like habaneros, be sure to wash your hands very thoroughly afterwards, or better yet wear gloves. Be very careful when touching your face and especially your eyes! 

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