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Chile Glossary

Martha Stewart Living, March 2006

If a range of days is given, the lower number means days until pepper is usable green (immature); the higher, red (mature). If no range, then number of days until pepper can be used.

1.  'Golden Cayenne' Slightly milder than red 'Cayenne,' this lemon-yellow pepper maintains its sunny color even when cooked (65 days).

2.  'Cherry Bomb' These round, red, medium-hot cherry peppers are common in Italian markets. Their small size makes them perfect for hors d'oeuvres (62 to 87 days).

3.  'Tiburon' A large cultivar of the mild, flavorful Mexican pepper called poblano when fresh and ancho when dried. Lustrous, black-green skin makes it distinctive (65 to 85 days).

4.  'Tropical Heat' A seed mixture comprising various colors of 'Habanero' and 'Scotch Bonnet'; orange, red, or yellow when ripe (75 to 100 days).

5.  'Hungarian Wax' This mild pepper is a favorite for pickling. Used mainly in its unripe yellow stage, it turns red at maturity (58 to 83 days; see number 11).

6.  'Habenero' A lantern-shape pepper famous for its searing heat. It is the Latin American cousin of the Caribbean 'Scotch Bonnet' (75 to 100 days).

7.  'Serrano' Small and meaty, this is among the hottest of the readily available peppers. At its best when used in fresh preparations (55 to 75 days).

8.  'Scotch Bonnet' Named for its resemblance to the Scottish tam-o'-shanter. One of the hottest peppers. Popular in the West Indies, it is a key ingredient in many Jamaican dishes (75 to 100 days).

9.  (and 10.) Bird Pepper This variety includes several small peppers that appeal to birds-hence the name. The peppers are among the world's hottest. The oblong fruit (9) is called chilipiquin in Mexico and pring-kee-new in Southeast Asia. Its round Mexican counterpart (10) is called chiltepin (120 days).

11.  Mature 'Hungarian Wax'

12.  'Cayenne' This very hot pepper is used most often as a powdered spice or to make hot sauce. Ideal for making ristras (pepper wreaths or swags; 60 to 85 days).

13.  Immature 'Hinkle Hatz' Also known as 'Chicken Heart'. A small, medium-hot heirloom pepper bred by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Matures to red, yellow, or orange (75 days).

14.  'Fatalii' A 'Habanero' relative from Africa; ripens to yellow-orange. Intensely hot (100 days).

15.  'Hot Paper Latern' In northern gardens, higher yielding and better performing than 'Habanero,' but just as hot (90 days).

16.  'Pinocchio's Nose' Very hot, extremely long fruits (up to 10 inches). A cayenne-type pepper, it is excellent for drying and crafts (85 days).

17.  'Jwala' An heirloom variety with high pungency; popular in India. Most often used green (90 to 100 days).

18.  'Anahiem' Sometimes called New Mexico peppers. Heat varies, so taste before using (70 to 90 days).

19.  'Thai Dragon' Extremely hot pepper good for curries or stir-fries. A single plant may bear up to 200 small but pungent fruits (80 days).