Some red hot tips for chilli growers

Chilli pepper collection.
Chilli pepper collection.
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Red hot chilli peppers have become very popular in recent times and I’m not alluding to the band, rather the fascination for foods that have a little heat attached to them, the main source being chillies.

Last year, I grew five different types in the greenhouse, Bhut Jolokia being by far the hottest at one million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Chilli peppers.

Chilli peppers.

It was the world record holder a mere six years ago but now lags behind Trinidad Scorpion (1.4 m SHU) and current champion Carolina Reaper (1.5 m SCU), which is getting close to the pepper spray used in law enforcement.

I took examples of all five chilli peppers to our fortnightly Lionheart Radio programme, the idea being to have a long-planned tasting session with fellow presenter Carl.

I suggested that a tiny nibble would be enough and there was a glass of water each on standby.

Cheyenne (40,000), Apache (80k), Scotch Bonnet (250k), Habanero (300k) and Bhut Jolokia were tested in turn. The last mentioned was our downfall!

Habanero.

Habanero.

This year there will be no raw nibbles but the same five are lined up for kitchen use because I saved seeds of each.

If you wish for a little extra warmth in your life, look out for these plants in plug form at the garden centre and pot them on.

But a word of warning, I’d use them sparingly in cooking and never attempt to chew one.

The hottest part is the white inner pith that surrounds the seeds!