Hot Peppers: The Jalapeño

  • Habanero seedling
  • Habanero flowering
  • Habanero pepper unripened, green
  • Habanero pepper, ripe, orange
    Fully Ripe

This little rascal is perhaps the most recognizable and widely known peppers in the world. The Jalapenos versatility and surprising dual identity make it one of the most commonly cast peppers on the culinary stage.

Popular in All Kinds of Food

The talented Jalapeno is most commonly picked and consumed in its unripened green form. At this stage it is used in hot sauce, pickled for accents in many dishes,and has its chubby little body stuffed with cheesy goodness as the jalapeno popper. If you have yet to experience the Jalapeno in this, its most glorious performance, I strongly urge you to get to it.

Upon fully ripening, it becomes a deep crimson color and its taste miraculously changes. The Jalapeno in its ripened form has an undeniable sweetness to it. Its heat also lessens quite a bit, thus allowing the jalapeno to become a player in even more fantastic culinary constructs.

Chiles In Space

Named after the town of Xalapa in Mexico,The Jalapeno is a medium sized pepper, measuring in at an average of two to three inches. By no means a fire breathing beast, the Jalapeno rates from 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville heat scale.

Fun and interesting facts

  • The Jalapeno was our first spacefaring pepper. Jalapeno peppers were launched with Nasa astronauts in 1984 to spice up their diets.
  • Jalapeno pepper jelly originates from Lake Jackson, Texas.
  • The Ancient Aztecs were the first people documented to cultivate the Jalapeno pepper.

The Jalapeno Plant

Jalapenos are a hot weather plant. They require fairly moist alkaline rich soil, and direct sun, for ideal development. The jalapeno plant can grow between the heights 20 and 50 inches. Jalapeno plants require regular watering,and flourish in moist soil, though overwatering will impede their fruit development, and growth. The dusty looking striation lines that form on jalapenos are commonly misconceived as a flaw in the pepper. In reality these are healthy indicators that the pepper is ready to be picked.

Recently Added Hot Sauces that Use Jalapenos

*Note that many hot sauces do not specify the type of pepper used on their list of ingredients, and instead use a general phrase like “chile pepper”, so a number of sauces on our hot sauce list may not be included.

« Back to All Chilli Peppers

Sources and Attribution:

  • Photo (cropped): My Baby Jalapenos by Dave Parker (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
  • Photo (cropped): Jalapeno Blossom by Photogramma1 (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
  • Photo (cropped): Jalapeno Estonia (unripened) by Epp (CC-BY-SA-3.0) via Wikimedia Commons
  • Photo (cropped): Chilli-Jalapeno by Glenn (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr