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Hot Peppers

The heat of a spicy chile pepper, however, can really give your taste buds a thrill. They're also loaded with vitamin C and beta-carotene. Give these fireballs — ordered from mild to "call the fire department!" a try. The more mature a pepper gets, the hotter it gets.

Anaheim Pepper

anaheim chile pepper

Probably the most commonly used pepper in ranges in heat from mild to moderate. Anaheims are long and slender, and are most typically used fresh when they're green (young), or dried when they're red (mature). You'll find them in the classic Mexican dish chiles rellenos.

Serrano Pepper

serrano pepper

These chiles don't need to be steamed or peeled before using, making them the easiest to use for salsas. The serrano chile is green in color at first, and ripens to red, brown, orange, or yellow. They're about 5 times hotter than the jalape´┐Żo.

Chipotle Pepper

dried chipotle pepper

This medium chile, essentially a smoked jalape´┐Żo, is mostly found canned, often packed in adobo sauce. Its deep, smoky flavor makes it delicious as a marinade for chicken breast.

Poblano Pepper

fresh poblano pepperResembling small bell peppers at the top, poblanos are tapered at the end. Their medium-hot punch is brought out when they're roasted and peeled, then added to casseroles, soups, or sauces.

Habanero Pepper

habanero peppers hanging from branchThese are the hottest of hot peppers. They're shaped like tiny lanterns and are mostly yellow-orange in color. Watch out: Their heat can sneak up on you. That said, they are great for adding zing to sauces and salsas.


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