All chilies start off green. As they ripen, they turn red or yellow. Most red chilies are dried so you need to reconstitute them in hot liquid before you use them. There are some varieties of chile such as the jalapeno, habanero, or serrano that will turn red and still be used fresh.
I like to eat Hatch, New Mexico, green chile. There are four varieties.
Mild: This pepper is about 6-9 inches long with little to no heat. This is a good place to start to get your chile fix.
Medium (Big Jim): The size of the pepper ranges from 7-10 inches. This pepper is meaty and the heat varies from chile to chile. Big Jim's are great for making chile rellanos, or just chop and use in your favorite enchilada casserole, scrambled eggs, hamburgers. The possibilities are endless.
Hot: (Sandia): This chile is smaller. It ranges from 5-8 inches. It has a consistent heat and is great for spicing up dishes. If you like heat, this is the chile for you.
Extra Hot (Barker). This chile packs a punch. Use it in small quantities.
I've talked a lot about the heat of a chile. The heat of chilies is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU). The number of SHU's indicates the amount of capsaicin present. The SHU scate ranges for 0-15,000,00. Zero is the bell pepper and the 15,000,000 is pure capsaicin. The active chemical capsaicin is stored in the veins and seeds of the chile pepper.
Chile Fun Facts
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