Saturday, August 18, 2012

The great pepper mystery

Once upon a time (July 30, 2012), we moved to a whole new part of the world. One of the first things Liz and I wanted to do was start a garden. We like gardening; We thought it would make our house seem more like a home; It gave us something to forward to.   However, there really aren't a lot of seedlings available at the end of July. We went to a couple of stores and they didn't have anything worth buying. But THEN...THEN....THEN....we stopped at this little market that sold produce which they grew in the back yard of the store. It was a long shot, but we saw that the owner had pepper plants growing in the pots, and we asked if we could buy a few of the actual plants. He said smiled and said something in Spanish. We never actually understood him. Turns out he was giving away his pepper plants for free. We were estatic and grabbed three plants before he changed his mind. We tried paying for them but he had none of it.

After planting them, we realized that we had no clue what kind of peppers we grabbed. It was a mystery. We knew that they were not green peppers, and we were hoping for banana peppers. We watered those plants, debugged the plants, and watched them thrive. We were rewarded with a great crop of yummy looking peppers that started to turn orange.

Tonight we decided to pick a pepper and solve mystery. Liz cut it into a few pieces, and I noticed that it smelled spicy. We each took a small piece and placed them to our tongue. I must not have placed more than a pin head of the pepper onto my tongue for more than a split second. What followed was incredibly unpleasant. I can best describe it as oral torture. Both liz and I instantly started sweating and looking for ways to escape the sensation. It was painfully hot. In the following 10 minutes,  WE DRANK all of our HALF and HALF in search of relief. After 20 minutes we knew we were ok, but our mouths were still tingly.

All this for just a touch to the tongue!!! Thank goodness neither of us bit into the thing.

We figured out that it was a habenero pepper. We looked up pepper hotness online (after calming down).

habanero peppers = 350,000 to 500,000 scoville units
jalapeno peppers = 5,000 scoville units
Anahiem peppers = 1,500 scoville units