Jalapeno peppers are often thought of as the most generic type of hot pepper out there. Generally, they don’t have much kick when freshly picked off the vine. It isn’t until you either roast, steam, or bake them before their true heat comes out. Jalapenos range from around 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units. Usually you can buy them at your local grocery store. When in raw form the capsaicin they hold is almost undetectable, causing them to taste more like a fibrous bell pepper than a hot pepper. If you would like to test this at home, try a jalapeno raw and then try some freshly baked poppers or some roasted jalapenos and you will notice a distinct difference.
The name of the pepper comes from the city of Jalapa, Mexico in which the plant originates. At Central Farms, we have experimented with many strains of Jalapenos such asthe early variety, jumbos, purple jalapenos as well as the traditional jalapa variety. Jalapenos can be picked and roasted when they are all green but will eventually turn red and get a bit hotter.
At Benito’s, we use jalapenos in Joe’s #1 Jalapa (naturally). They provide a fantastic base for a classic salsa verde which includes all natural cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice to produce a quintessential citrus sizzle.