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Spicy exchange / 2023

Meet the most popular red peppers in the US

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What to know:

Peppers come in countless varieties, each boasting a distinct appearance and flavor profile. As they mature, many peppers transform from green to eye-catching shades of orange, yellow, or red.

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Easily recognizable on grocery store shelves, red bell peppers are a staple in the US and boast a delightful sweetness without any heat (0 SHU).

Bell peppers

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Marconi giant peppers

Renowned for their disease resistance and prolific yield, Marconi giant peppers produce elongated pods up to 8 inches long. They have a a pleasing sweetness and zero heat (0 SHU).

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While Jalapeños are better known as a green chili, they undergo a transformation as they mature into a rich, red hue, accompanied by a sweeter and deeper flavor. With a heat range of 2,500 to 8,000+ SHUs, most individuals can people can enjoy them comfortably.

Jalapeños

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Cherry peppers

Characterized by their compact, round shape, cherry peppers deliver a medium-low heat, measuring between 5,000 and 15,000 SHUs. Many people unexpectedly cultivated cherry peppers in 2023 due to the widespread PepperGate mix-up.

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Named after the city of Fresno, California, these smooth, conical-shaped peppers span approximately 2 inches in length. Displaying a gentle sweetness and mildness akin to jalapeños, they register at 2,500 to 10,000 SHUs.

Fresno peppers

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Red scotch bonnets

Scotch bonnets, available in a spectrum of colors including orange, yellow, and red, boast a compact, rounded pod structure. With a heat range of 100,000 to 350,000 SHUs, they contribute a significant kick to your dishes.

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While they grow on compact bushes, Thai hot peppers produce many tiny, pointed pods. They infuse a vibrant, fruity heat into any culinary creation, offering a dynamic range of 50,000 to 100,000 SHUs.

Thai hot peppers

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Rocoto peppers

One of the few popular Capsicum Pubescens peppers in the US, the rocoto pepper resembles a small apple with its bright red hue and round shape. Originating from Peru, rocoto peppers range from 30,000 to 100,000 SHUs.

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Caribbean red habaneros pack a fiery punch, boasting nearly twice the heat of their orange counterparts at 350,000 to 450,000 SHUs. Their citrusy and fruity undertones contribute to their distinctive flavor profile.

Caribbean red habaneros

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Carolina reapers

The Carolina Reaper earned its fiery reputation as the world’s hottest pepper, according to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013. Packing an astonishing 1,569,300+ SHUs, these peppers go beyond scorching, offering a surprising dimension of fruity sweetness.

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Once heralded as the world’s hottest peppers, Trinidad scorpion peppers reached an average of over 1,200,000 SHU. Their round shape, culminating in a pointed tip, closely resembles the form of a scorpion’s tail.

Trinidad scorpion peppers

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7 pot Jonah peppers

Closely related to Trinidad scorpions, 7 pot Jonah peppers are a force to be reckoned with, boasting a formidable heat level of 800,000+ SHU. 

Get the free guide to growing chili peppers

The "green thumb" is a myth — with the right information, anyone can successfully grow peppers. Enjoy this free 34-page guide to help you grow an abundant harvest.

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