Peppers can enhance your recipes in so many ways. From adding a delicious kick to your favorite Tex-Mex meals to accenting the flavor of chicken sausage, there is so much you can do when you have the right peppers.
Part of what makes them such an important part of cooking for people from around the world is the vast array of peppers you can use. The list ranges from mild bell peppers on one end to the absurdly hot Carolina reaper pepper on the other.
With so many types of peppers, it can be difficult to know which ones to use. You might ask about poblano vs. jalapeno, or which peppers have a milder taste. Maybe you want spicy food, but you want to avoid the hottest peppers.
In this post, we will cover some of the most common peppers, from long green peppers to spicy red peppers.
Are bell peppers spicy? Rather than being spicy, bell peppers are sweet. They come in an assortment of colors ranging from green, red, yellow and orange. With green, you have bell peppers at their least ripe, and with red, you have peppers that have reached their full maturity. The flavor also changes as the pepper gets riper. Bell peppers are sweeter when red and fully ripe, while they tend to be crisper when green and less ripe.
Jalapenos are one of the more common chili peppers. These hot green peppers are picked while a little under-ripe, and they turn red as they ripen. One nice thing about letting them ripen is that jalapenos maintain their heat while acquiring an almost fruity taste as they turn red. While they definitely have some pop when it comes to spiciness, jalapeno peppers work great as an ingredient for salsas and chili recipes.
This pepper has a mellow yet tangy flavor. It would not be considered a hot pepper by any measure. These long, yellow peppers get their name from the fact that they bear a slight resemblance to bananas. The complex flavor can make banana peppers a nice touch for a sandwich, and they can also work well as a pizza topping.
Long Green Peppers
While they are not hot peppers, long green peppers might offer a little tingle when compared to bell peppers. As the name suggests, these peppers are long and green. They have a nice, crisp bite when raw, but they are great for frying or as an ingredient in pasta sauce.
If you are looking for an alternative to jalapenos, poblano peppers are a good option. They can work in many of the same recipes, but they are milder than jalapenos. Poblano peppers are larger, and they have more of a bell shape. Their larger size can make them ideal for stuffed pepper recipes. They can also be good for adding a lighter kick of spiciness to sauces.
Best known for the seasoning, these spicy red peppers pack a serious punch. They are small, tapered and red. When dried and ground, you have cayenne powder, which is a popular seasoning for a variety of dishes. Even fresh and chopped, cayenne peppers are a common component of Tex-Mex cuisine.
The habanero pepper is where things start to get extremely hot. These peppers are small and bulb-shaped. They also vary in color depending on ripeness. While not the hottest pepper, it is still probably too hot for most people. Instead of being a main ingredient, habanero peppers are used to add spiciness to recipes.