Scotch bonnet (also known as Bonney peppers, or Caribbean red peppers) is a variety of chili pepper named for its resemblance to a tam o' shanter hat.
The Scotch Bonnet pepper is a cultivar of the habanero and is among the hottest peppers anywhere. If you’ve ever tried a habanero pepper, you know it carries some serious heat. The Scotch Bonnet is equally hot, measuring in at 100,000-350,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Compare that to a jalapeno pepper, which averages about 5,000 SHU, and you’ll understand the heat level.
It is very often used in Caribbean cooking, where it originated and is widely grown. Dishes like jerk chicken or Jamaican Hot Pepper Sauce require the flavor and heat of the Scotch Bonnet. It appears primarily in the Carribean and in Guyana and the Maldives
WHAT DOES SCOTCH BONNET LOOK AND TASTE LIKE?
The Scotch bonnet pepper is usually red or yellow at maturity. However, other varieties can ripen to orange, yellow, peach, or even a chocolate brown.
Its size ranges from 1 to 2 1/2 inches in length and from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. It’s shape is similar to the habanero, though flatter and wider, resembling a hat. Hence, the name.
The flavor is fruity and bright, with a bit of sweetness. If you’ve ever tasted a habanero, it is very similar in both flavor and heat.
For flavor comparisons, there are hints of apple, cherry, and tomato.
To test the heat and flavor, try slicing off a sliver and tasting it, and even chewing it up if you feel the initial taste is safe enough.
Always remember, however, to handle hot peppers with care. Wear gloves when cutting them. Some experts even say that wearing gloves alone is not enough but that the gloves and cutting board should be cleaned with bleach and/or detergent after cutting the peppers to avoid spreading their capsaicin.
To decrease the heat of the overall heat before adding it to your dishes, you can remove the inner white placental tissue.
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