Scoville Heat Rating : 40,000 – 58,000 SHU
The Pequin Pepper is a variety of chili pepper originating from Mexico. Other species of this pepper originate from Texas near the Rio Grande Basin. Pequin peppers have a flavor that is somewhat citrusy with a touch of smokiness. This type of pepper is very tiny with a measurement of only around two centimeters at maturity. Upon ripening, they are a bold red color.
Pequin chili peppers have several unique qualities. In humid climates, these will not turn black like other types do. Moderate consumption of this pepper will not irritate the gastric system. It remains rich in flavor despite having a lower level of heat. However, the pepper plant, itself, is extremely delicate. Excessive handling or adjusting will cause the plant to die or fail to produce. Pequin is a seasonal fruit and requires adequate rainfall. Not many individuals undertake cultivation of this type of chili pepper. It requires a bit more intricacy to develop a bountiful harvest.
Although Pequin peppers are hard to find, they are used in many products worldwide. Various salsas, soups, sauces, and vinegars contain Pequin peppers. These are often used as a spice when pickling. Some individuals prefer to eat Pequin peppers fresh, while others enjoy them dried or ground into a powder. As a spice, the ground powder is beneficial to countless dishes and cuisines.
Although this type of pepper does not rank very high on the Scoville heat scale, it still produces a burning sensation. This sensation comes from a chemical compound in the pepper called capsaicin. Capsaicin is mainly present in the ribs and seeds of the fruit pod. This chemical compound is also erratically present throughout the entire pod. High Performance Liquid Chromatography is performed to determine the amount of heat a chili pepper contains. The chemical compound, Capsaicin, is used for this test.
The original test was developed and performed in 1912. Wilbur Scoville, a chemist, used a group of people as taste testers. He would have them to taste a mixture of sugar water and chili pepper. He continued to further dilute the mixture, with sugar water, until the individuals could no longer feel the burning sensation on their tongues. The particular number of dilutions was used to create a ranking on the scale.
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