How Hot Can You Tolerate? Visit Trial Bed in Home Gardening Center
Some might say this summer’s weather has been hotter than a chili pepper. But there are some really intense chili peppers out there! During The Edible Garden, the Home Gardening Center is featuring a Chili Pepper Trial Bed, highlighting 48 plants of 12 cultivars in a range of colors, sizes, and heat intensity.
The chili pepper is thought to be the most popular spice: Over 20 percent of the world’s population uses it in some form. Famous for a hot flavor, there are many different cultivated types, each with distinct characteristics.
The term chili pepper is used for several of the nearly 25 species in the genus Capsicum, all of which originated in Central and South America. The two most common species are Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens.
The level of the pungent compound capsaicin is what accounts for the pungency or heat in chilies. Some peppers are so pungent that farmers and cooks need to wear gloves to protect their skin, which can become irritated or blistered just by touching the peppers.
The hotness of a chili pepper is measured in Scoville Heat Units, named after the U.S. pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville who in 1912 invented a hotness gauge. On the Scoville scale, a sweet pepper scores 0, a jalapeño pepper around 3,000, and a Mexican habañero a scorching 500,000.
The Chili Pepper Trial Bed is arranged according to the Scoville scale and includes Capsicum chinese ‘Bhut Jolokia’ from India, which registers over 1 million Scoville units! Labels in the garden indicate how hot each pepper is.
Come visit the trial bed and The Edible Garden to get ideas on which types you’d like to try—in your garden and in your cooking. On Saturday, September 25, we’ll present a home gardening demonstration on chili peppers, Some Like It Hot, as part of the Fiesta de Flores y Comida festival weekend, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with flowers, food, dancing, cooking demonstrations (with Chef Maricel Presilla and others), and more.
Get Your Tickets