Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gorgeous Grandma Day & Tip Tuesday

Today is Gorgeous Grandma Day – I wish you all a happy one! Whether your grandchildren call you Grandma, Granny, Mamaw, or Grammie (that’s me!), I’m sure you treasure every minute with those little ones. And no matter what we look like on the outside, we’re all gorgeous because of the love that our children’s children have brought into our lives.

So have a special day!
It’s also Vanilla Ice Cream Day. Vanilla is my favorite flavor – what’s yours? Let’s all make a trip to the Dairy Bar for a cone today.
Since today is also “Hot Enough For Ya Day”, the topic is hot peppers. There are many varieties of these flavorful additions to our food, and their heat ranges from very mild and sweet to extremely hot.

In 1912 a chemist named Wilbur Scoville developed the Scoville Heat Index, which rates the heat contained in peppers. They typically will range from 0 to well over 1,000,000.  The heat in the peppers comes from capsaicin, which is found in the ribs and seeds – removing them will reduce the heat. Capsaicin also has no flavor, so all you’ll do is feel the heat! Many arthritis creams and rubs contain capsaicin. And common pepper spray is 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 on the scale. 

The main tip concerning these peppers would be to always use gloves when handling the hot varieties – and refrain from touching your face and/or eyes.

Here are some of the most well-known varieties of peppers, along with their Scoville index rating:

Sweet Banana Pepper - 0
Sweet Bell Pepper – 0
Cherry Pepper – 50 to 500
Poblano Pepper – 500 to 2,000
Anaheim Pepper – 500 to 2,500
Jalapeno Pepper – 2,500 to 9,000
Serrano Pepper – 8,000 to 22,000
Tabasco Pepper – 30,000 to 50,000
Cayenne Pepper – 30,000 to 50,000
Thai Pepper – 50,000 to 100,000
Scotch Bonnet Pepper – 90,000 to 325,000
Rocoto Pepper – 100,000 to 250,000
Habanero Pepper – 150,000 to 325,000
Ghost Pepper – 1,020,000 to 1,578,000
Maruga Scorpion Pepper – an unimaginable 1,200,000 to 2,009,231!

These numbers, of course, may vary due to climate and growing conditions, but peppers will normally be in these ranges.

Hot peppers are very versatile, and their use will depend on your heat comfort level. Be sure when cooking with them that you are familiar with their heat so that your dishes will turn out as desired and not be so hot that no one can eat them. It’s good to start with a small amount, then add if more heat is needed.

These peppers are easy to preserve. Either can them in a brine solution or dry them. You can also cut them up and freeze them in freezer bags.

Whether you grow them yourself or buy them at your local grocery store or produce stand, be sure to give some of these flavorful peppers a try.

So - is it hot enough for ya?
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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