There’s nothing better than a little bit of spice added to a dish- flavors seem to really pop and your taste buds are heightened, letting you experience the ingredients to their fullest potential. In the summer we tend to sidle on over to cool foods like salads and avocados, but adding a bit of spice is actually a great idea. It can help you sweat, which in turn will cool you down. Heat plus heat equals cool.
A favorite spicy pepper are chipotle peppers, brought to the American consciousness by Chipotle Mexican Grill. Cool fact of the day: chipotle peppers are just dried and smoked jalapeños. When jalapeños ripen on the plant they turn red, making chipotle peppers quite hotter than jalapeños. Chipotle peppers are fully ripened and matured red jalapeños, and smoking and drying them bring out the heat even more.
But how hot? Chili pepper heat or anything made with peppers (think sauces) is measured on the Scoville scale. Developed in 1912 by Wilbur L. Scoville, the test measures the capsaicin in peppers (the chemical that produces heat and sets your mouth on fire). Sweet peppers have a Scoville rating of 0, while the Red Savina Habanero, the hottest pepper in the world, has a sweltering rating of 350,000-570,000.
Chipotle peppers rank around 5,000-10,000 Scoville units, but not all chipotle peppers are created equal. It depends on ripeness, sunshine, soil chemistry, fertilizer used, and more. The chipotle peppers used in Sunny Street Café’s made-from-scratch chipotle-lime marinade give a great quick to our grilled chicken, with just enough spice for you to reach for a drink but not enough to set your ears on fire.
–Anna Hetzel, Content Marketer