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Pepper Guide

Earlier this week I posted about beginning to prepare your garden for the spring.  One thing you can do - even if temperatures are still freezing and there's still snow on the ground! - is to start deciding what to plant and order your seeds.

Right now, I've got peppers on the brain.  Last year we grew jalapenos, and it was awesome.  We canned salsa galore, threw the peppers into all sorts of yummy food we were making, and we even did pickled peppers.  This year, I'd like to grow even MORE peppers!  But, sometimes it's kind of confusing.  Which peppers would best suit our needs?  Spicy?  Sweet?  There are so many kinds!

If you also have peppers on the brain, here's a handy dandy pepper guide to help you decide.   


Name Spiciness
(scale of 1-10)
Taste  Favorite Uses
Anaheim 4 Mild, sweet if roasted and peeled. Chile relleno, or in sauces for burritos.  
Bell Pepper 0 Varies by color, but usually mild.  Sometimes the green ones can be bitter and red bell peppers tend to be sweet.   One of the most versatile kinds of peppers.  Stuff them, chop up for salads, put in tomato sauces, etc.  
Cubanelle 1 Sweet and mild.   Fry 'em, stuff 'em, chop 'em up for pizzas!  
Fresno 6 Medium when green, hot when red. Salsa, chopped up in rice dishes, or in Asian food.  
Habanero 10!!! Very hot, very fragrant, very tasty!   If you've got a tongue of steel, try making a habanero salsa.   I also like one in a big pot of chili.  
Jalapeno 5 Moderately spicy.   I like jalapenos in almost anything!  Chop some up for cornbread, make a pepper jelly, add to Mexican dishes like tacos.  
Poblano 4 Moderate - slightly less spicy than jalapenos.   My favorite type for chile relleno!  I can't find my favorite recipe for poblano chile relleno online, but it's in the Joy of Cooking.  It's fantastic!  
Scotch Bonnet 10!!! Verrrrry hot!!!!   Caribbean dishes.  Use in moderation!  
Serrano 7 Hotter than jalapenos, milder than habaneros.   Salsa.  
Thai 9 Hot, hot, hot!   Thai curries.  Mmmm.  
Yellow Caribe 6 Hot and a little sweet.   Tap into your inner Peter Piper and pickle these peppers! 

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