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How do you determine a jalapeño's heat?

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General Discussion 46

How do you determine a jalapeño's heat?

Tom Steele | Jan 21, 2008 01:13 PM

I'm stumped. I really love HOT jalapeños, and only about 1 in 3 has any heat. I thought this variance is due to some wayward genetic engineer who decided the world needed a mild jalapeño, but a chef friend told me that the heat of a jalapeño has to develop before the jalapeño is harvested, and that red jalapeños (which I've very rarely seen in NYC) are in fact all hot.

Want to weigh in on either theory? Only one of them can be true.

And how do you figure out how hot a jalapeño is going to be without opening it up? Another chef told me that the pointier the tip is, the hotter the pepper, but that has not turned out to be true.

Help me ratchet up the heat!

Thanks.

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