So, my great friend Andrew Padula gave me a Tepin Pepper plant last year that lived in the garage all winter and was planted this summer. I was so happy to see them fruiting.
He told me that it would grow little peppers that had some heat. Yeah, about that….
Take a look at these little beauties this year. A bounty of tiny peppers – success! Then I put one in my mouth. I thought I remembered Andrew telling me that they were a little bit hot. When folks are talking heat level, you probably should go ahead and verify their version of “a little hot” and compare it to yours. I popped one of these babies in my mouth right off the plant and thought my head was going to explode! If only I’d researched it first, I’d possibly have found this article from Mental Floss ranking peppers on the Scoville scale. My pepper shows up at number 6 on their list.
6. CHILTEPIN PEPPER
It grows in Central America, Mexico, and the southwestern U.S. They’re just little guys. The pepper is also known as the chile tepin, tepin being a Nahuatl word that means “flea.” But don’t let their little size fool you! Their heat is intense, measuring between 50,000 and 100,000 Scoville units. But if you can get through the first minute or so, you’ll probably be OK: the heat is super strong but subsides quickly.
So, they’re not wrong. The heat did leave pretty quickly, but wow was that a blast. For reference, this heat is the same as a Thai Chili or twice as hot as a Cayenne pepper! Yipes! Lesson learned when planting and tasting out of the garden. Do some research to make sure you know what you’re getting!
PS: Anyone in the market for some tiny hot peppers?