Peppers You Might Find In Your Box
by Nicole Figura
A Peko box contains a mystery mix of both regular and organic produce that can be best described as a mystery box. The past few months, Peko boxes have contained various colorful (and fiery!) types of peppers. Let's learn what they are and how to enjoy them!
What are Peppers?
Peppers are part of the genus Capsicum, which includes hot varieties, also known as chile peppers, and sweet varieties, such as the bell pepper. Up until the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the New World, peppers grew only in Latin America and have since become integral to cuisines across the world.
The heat of a pepper is measured using Scoville units. The scale ranges from 0 all the way to 3,000,000 (as in the spiciest chile in the world, Pepper X). They are also rich in antioxidant vitamins including vitamins C, E and beta-carotene.
What Peppers May I Get?
There are more than 20 types of peppers in the world but here are four that we've seen in Peko boxes so far!
- Characteristics: Relatively large in size and can be eaten raw with dips or cooked into stir-fries. In its immature state, it is green with a slightly bitter flavor and as it matures, turns bright red (or yellow, orange, and even white, pink, or purple) and becomes sweeter. Great for adding color and moisture to any dish.
- Scoville Heat Units: 0
- Recipe Suggestions: Sautéed Garlic-Herb Bell Peppers, Asian-Style Veggie Medley
(Photo Source: Isabel Eats)
- Characteristics: Somewhat large and heart-shaped. Mildly spicy but get hotter as they mature. Frequently roasted and stuffed or added to mole sauces. When dried, they become anchos chilis!
- Scoville Heat Units: 1,000 to 2,000
- Recipe Suggestions: Stuffed Poblano Peppers, Rajas con Crema
- Characteristics: Small and bulbous but one of the hottest. Also flavorful and aromatic, with a floral quality that makes them good for hot sauces and salsas.
- Scoville Heat Units: 150,000 to 350,000
- Recipe Suggestions: Pickled Habaneros, Habanero Hot Sauce
- Characteristics: Typically plucked from the vine while still green. If allowed to ripen more, they will turn red and take on a slightly fruity flavored. A tasty ingredient that goes great in everything and commonly used to in salsa and sauces—spicy but not too much. When dried, they become chipotles (meco/mellow or moritas/spicier)!
- Scoville Heat Units: 3,500 to 8,000
- Recipe Suggestions: Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, Taki Topped Stuffed Jalapenos